Hector and the Search for Happiness **Dir: Peter Chelsom. With: Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Stellan Skarsgard. 120 mins. Cert: 15
A naggingly credulous adaptation of François Lelord’s philosophically minded bestseller, with Simon Pegg as a psychiatrist using a round-the-world jolly as a means of jolting himself from becardiganned midlife stasis. Erstwhile crowdpleaser Peter Chelsom (Hear My Song) still knows how to frame a good gag, but precious few emerge in a draggy travelogue that, astonishingly, feels scarcely more substantial than Eat, Pray, Love. Scene after scene follows of Hector pleasing himself: turning the head of every woman he encounters, Pegg’s smuggery knows no bounds. Chelsom, for his part, has mistaken blokish fantasy for happiness; whatever enlightenment there is here proves far too easily gained. Keep looking, folks.
Hector and the Search for Happiness opens in cinemas nationwide today.