COMEDY; 1hr 59min
STARRING: Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Toni Collette
Playing nice: Pegg and Pike
London psychiatrist Hector (Paul ’s Pegg) has “a very satisfactory life … tiny, uncomplicated.” It’s a good thing that doesn’t last, Hector being forced by creeping disenchantment to acknowledge that he’s totally fed up. With the cautious blessing of his significant other, Clara (Gone Girl ’s Pike), the good doctor, who has never been to any place he couldn’t control, flies to mind-blowing Shanghai on a happiness research tour.
The keys to bliss are tricky to pin down. Hector’s treasure hunt takes him to a Tibetan monastery, on to the wilds of Africa and, finally, to Los Angeles (with eclectic input from Stellan Skarsgård, Jean Reno and Christopher Plummer). Along the photogenic and sunnily buzzy way, he makes many happiness-related discoveries about love, work and gratitude, dutifully noted in his handy sketchbook/diary. He’s beguiled by a classy call girl, kidnapped and beaten (not so sunny right around then) and re-visits an ex (Collette) who labels him “emotionally squeamish.”
Not for much longer! Pegg, one of cinema’s most amiable souls, gets to play with a spectrum of colours thanks to director and co-writer Peter Chelsom, which hopefully made him happy. And Hector? Well, they do say life is a circle…