Hector and the Search for Happiness

Not quite a male Eat, Pray, Love—but at times close

I’m not sure what Simon Pegg is trying on here. A regimented, middle-aged psychologist informs his loving girlfriend (Rosamund Pike) that he needs to go traveling to understand the title emotion. He visits China, Africa, and L.A., all the while making vapid, pseudo-meaningful notes and doodles that appear on the screen. It’s cute.

Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz notwithstanding, don’t be expecting another punchy comedy, or for that matter, much more than a wan character piece. It’s not quite a male version of Eat, Pray, Love, but at times this blandly earnest, feel-good fluff comes perilously close.

Japanese title: Shiawase wa Doko ni Aru. (114 min)