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The last time director Peter Chelsom made a film, it was 2009 and Miley Cyrus was still wholesome enough to get through all of Hannah Montana: The Movie out without licking things suggestively and gyrating her ass. Since then, we’ve all been looking for happiness, and Chelsom’s next film may deliver just that, as he sent Simon Pegg on a trip around the world for the upcoming comedic drama Hector and the Search for Happiness. The film has finally released its first trailer, seen above, and though it doesn’t look like it’s on the same fast track to pleasure as antidepressants and marijuana, I think it looks like a fun and lightheartedly introspective journey. And the killer cast doesn’t hurt, either.
Sure, I’d rather watch Pegg travel from one bar to the next in The World’s End, but watching his mopey bespectacled shrink morph into a smiling free spirit sounds rather uplifting. He plays the titular Hector, a psychiatrist whose glum practice and down-and-out patients inspire him to travel the globe trying to find a quantifiable source of people’s happiness. As we can see in the preview, via Collider, Hector searches far and wide, from snowy mountainous Chinese monasteries to…whatever country he’s in when he gets kidnapped. Personally, all it took was that gong joke for me to get happy.
Hector appears to be in a loving relationship with Clara (Rosamund Pike), though their long-distance communication takes a heavy toll on her side of things. At some point, Hector goesback into his own past and visits Agnes (Toni Collette), an ex-girlfriend (presumably) who has moved on with her life and started a family. Going back into old romances is almost never a conduit for enjoyment, so he must have gotten pretty nostalgic. Or desperate.
The pic also hosts a bevy of other talented actors, such as Hector’s airplane mate Stellan Skarsgård and the hoodie-wearing professor Christopher Plummer. Jean Reno and Chris Gauthier also star, though I have no idea what roles they’ll be taking on (it seems like a crime that Jean Reno wasn’t in any of Edgar Wright’s films with Pegg). While it will be released in the U.K. this fall, Hector doesn’t yet have a date set for U.S. audiences. Maybe we’ll have to go out and search for it.
The film is based on the celebrated 2002 French novel from author François Lelord, who extended the main character’s story into another two books. Take a listen to an interview with him below as he talks about what inspired him to write it.