3.5. A bit like the masculine version of Eat, Pray, Love if I had seen Eat, Pray, Love. Incredibly thought-provaking. Does Hector deserve the brand of happiness he ended up with? Can I please watch a movie just about the blonde friend and his boyfriend? How do I still find Simon Pegg attractive after he contorts his face into the ugliest crying I've ever seen? Who has the answers? No one? Super pretty movie, though.
The pursuit of happiness in this 2 hours is a selfish dream cloaked in a middle-class sabbatical. Hector travels to the white man's follies of China, Africa & LA and experiences what many white, middle-class 20 and 30 somethings often do, live it up, missionary work followed by a final step into western civilisation. The real people striving for happiness are those with the problems he treats back in the UK. Guff.
I had pre-judged this one by its schmaltzy trailer thinking the film would be the kind of feel good new age pap (Eat,Pray,Love) that mainstream audiences seem to enjoy. Mind you I wasn't far off but somehow the film works despite its trappings and clichés. Pegg is at his best here even when put in the most unbelievable circumstances and opposite the worst of character composites. A workout for your empathy machine.