Yesterday on July 28, 2014, Examiner.com was invited to the New York Film Critics Series screening of "Hector and the Search For Happiness." Director Peter Chelsom and star Simon Pegg were in attendance at the special event at AMC Empire 25 theater. After the screening, guests were treated to a great Q&A moderated by "Rolling Stone's" Peter Travers.
"We should concern ourselves not so much with the pursuit of happiness, but with the happiness of the pursuit, ”Professor Coreman (Christopher Plummer) says in the film. The film tells the story of Hector (Simon Pegg) a quirky psychiatrist who has become increasingly tired of his life. As he tells his girlfriend, Clara (Rosamund Pike), he feels like a fraud because he hasn’t really tasted life, but yet he’s offering advice to patients who are just not getting any happier.
So Hector decides to break out of his routine driven life. Armed with courage and child-like curiosity, he embarks on a global quest in hopes of uncovering the elusive secret formula for true happiness. And so begins a larger than life hilarious adventure. Based on the world-wide best-selling novel of the same name the film is an exhilarating tale from director Peter Chelsom, starring Simon Pegg, Toni Collette, Rosamund Pike, Stellan Skarsgård, Jean Reno and Christopher Plummer.
“It was like shooting five different movies that ended up being seven,” director Peter Chelsom said during the New York Film Critics Series Q&A as he chuckled and reminisced with Simon Pegg. Indeed, listening to the director of "Hector and the Search for Happiness" speak about the process of creating his new film sounded more like shooting a season of a National Geographic documentary series rather than a feature film. Of course, as envious as everyone was of their world travels from London to Shanghai, from Tibet to South Africa, both Chelsom and Pegg admitted that shooting on location around the world for not-enough money was a challenge, especially when factoring in travel hiccups and an ever rotating roster of film crews consisting of many local hires everywhere they traveled.
Very fittingly, Pegg had just flown into New York a couple of hours prior to the start of the Q&A. When asked whose “baby” this film was, both men admitted that it was neither of theirs, and that the idea of bringing Francois LeLord’s novel to the big screen had been brewing for almost a decade before Chelsom joined the team. Pegg also spoke about how fun the film set was, and how he was given a lot of freedom.
After that, Pegg and Chelsom headed to the Hamptons for a special screening of the film hosted by Gwyneth Paltrow. Chris Martin was also in attendance, in addition to Nacho Figueras, Delfina Blaquier, Blythe Danner, Tracy Anderson, Serena & Lily co-founder Lily Kanter, Cristina Cuomo, Rachelle Hruska, Alina Cho, Max Rohn, Joey Wolffer, Fabiola Beracasa, Jason Beckman, Alexandra Fairweather, Jennifer Creel, Kyle DeWoody, Sonja Nuttall, Kelly Framel, Zachary Lynd, Chris Brown, Summerly Horning, Eric Alterman, Kate Betts, Donald Rosenfeld, Mary Wigmore, Eva Shaye and Jennifer Miller. The screening was held at UA East Hampton Cinema and then guests headed to Serena & Lily Beach Market for the after-party.
Relativity will release the film in select theaters beginning on September 19, 2014.