Adapted from the book by Francois Lelord, Hector and the Search for Happiness is a Walter Mitty-type story about a man breaking out of his neat life, travelling the world on a journey of self-discovery.
It’s a film with many problems and is unfortunately as bad as the critics have made out. The first issue is that it bears a striking resemblance to the aforementioned The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (a film that I actually really liked), but lacks all of its charm and imagination.
Its biggest and most fundamental problem is that it fails in what it sets out to achieve; to make its audience happy. It actually has the opposite effect and utterly bored me, with an over-indulgent script that could have done with one more good edit.
It has severe tonal issues and the drama to comedy ratio is considerably out of balance to the point where it should have been called Hector and the Search for Laughs. The lead character is very unlikeable too (despite being played by Simon Pegg), which makes the film an even tougher watch.
Despite its best efforts, Hector and the Search for Happiness is more perfunctory than profound, more soul destroying than life affirming. A dull and surprisingly miserable film, I can’t tell you whether Hector finds happiness by film’s end, but I definitely didn’t.
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