Introducing Simon Pegg at the East Hampton Cinema last night, at a special screening of his new movie, Hector and the Search for Happiness, Gwyneth Paltrow announced of Pegg, the godfather of one of her children: "he's the movie star in the family." A pregnant pause followed these words, as the self-styled nerdy British comic hardly has the recognition of say, her mom, Blythe Danner, not to mention Paltrow herself. Was there irony in that praise?
Under Peter Chelsom's direction, Pegg's Hector, a shrink, leads a perfect life until he departs on a journey to find out what makes people happy. Happiness, an idea borrowed from Americans, seems foreign, a tease, to those across the pond. Do we not have the right to pursue happiness as part of our democracy? The quest astonishes everyone he encounters: characters played by Stellan Skarsgard, Jean Reno, Christopher Plummer, and Hector's ex-girlfriend played by Toni Collette. His perfect girlfriend, Clara, with Rosamund Pike in the role, will cause many to scratch their heads wondering why he would ever leave for travel, to Shanghai, a remote corner of Africa, and Los Angeles. But the conceit goes far to frame an entertaining movie full of wit, locations both glitzy and grim, as well as some groan-worthy humor.
At Serena & Lily, a boutique along a strip of Montauk Highway close to Wainscott, Pegg joined the crowd munching on seviche, pad thai, and dumplings amidst the shop's enticing beach wares. Nacho Figueras took a break between polo matches. And Simon Pegg, fatigued from too much travel, "Greece yesterday, London this morning, and now the Hamptons," posed for a selfie with Chris Martin, a conscious coupling, so to speak.
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.