Courtesy of Lions Gate.

Are you truly happy? are you striving for a goal that will make you happy? What is happiness? and would you know it when it happens?  Perplexing question that man has been asking themselves since man could think.

A few years ago, a friend of mine and I were hanging out after he had just came back from seeing one of his crush and her new boyfriend.  During his time at her place, his crush’s mother had asked the new boyfriend what he would like most to have in life and in the future.  My friend tells me the boyfriend answer was “to be happy” and began to laugh hysterically and began to mock him.  I started to laugh almost immediately out of a reflex, but quickly started thinking to myself as I slowly stopped laughing.  I didn’t say anything, but inside all I could think of was “what was wrong with wanting to be happy? as far as I know, everyone wants to be happy and neither my friend nor myself were really that happy.”  Cut to now, and I’m happy most of the time and my friend is a complete hater.  I still wish I could me happy all the time and still strive for that day.

Peaceful Warrior is based on a true story of how one man finds happiness.  It follows the life of Dan Millman (Scott Mechlowicz), a gymnast at Cal-Berkeley, who finds that despite having everything he could ask for, he’s still confused, misguided and unhappy.  In his attempt to seek answers, he be-friends a man he calls Socrates (Nick Nolte) who begins to mentor him toward true happiness.  But there are a lot of obstacles that Dan and Socrates must conquer, one of which includes Dan shattering his leg in a motorcycles accident.

This movie has an absolutely great message.  The way it goes about showing it is a bit repetitive, but it should be.  Just like gymnastic or sports or anything else in life, you need to practice, and believe it or not, being happy takes practice, just because you are happy once, doesn’t mean you will be happy when you want to be.  So in that aspect, I like that it’s repetitive, it really does show that to be happy you need to work at it.

The movie is also a bit mystical in its approach, which I find kind of appealing.  Happiness seems to be something that is impossible to get for our character, by making it mystical, it confirms our character thought that happiness can not be achieved by him.  I find that most critics have completely dismissed this film because of this.  I thought that film critics were suppose to have an open mind, but their review of this movie proves me completely wrong.  I have also find that critics gave this movie a lower rating because they didn’t believe that gymnast could be so popular in college.  They obviously weren’t hanging out with athletes when they went to school, because it doesn’t matter what sport you played in college.  If you were a varsity player, you got a lot of attention from the opposite sex, no matter what sport you played.

The acting was wonderful.  Nick Nolte gave us an absolute great performance, you can see why this man has won a Golden Globe and garnered 2 Oscar nomination for best actor.  This is the Nick Nolte I want to see more of and not the crazy hair dude I see in the paparazzi pages.  Scott Mechlowicz also did a great job.  Scott is more known for playing Scott Thomas in Eurotrip, but I am a fan of his and hope to see more project with him in it.  “Scotty doesn’t know…”  Cap it off with Amy Smart and Tim DeKay and this film had a great cast of actors.

I absolutely love the message.  It is something I truly believe in, even before I had even seen the movie.  So I could really relate to it.  I’ve seen this movie at least 5 times, and I plan on watching it some more.  I think this is one of the most inspirational movie I’ve seen.  Also, I’m not sure how much of the movie was actually shot at Cal-Berkeley, because I think primary shooting took place in Germany, but that campus looked beautiful and if I had lived in the west coast.  Cal-Berkeley would probably have been my number school after high school.

Dan Millman is the author of the book The Way of the Peaceful Warrior that inspire director Victor Salva.  He is now a motivational speaker.

Peaceful Warrior won’t win any awards, but I find that it has a great message that everyone should at least consider.  It has some great actor and some great scenery.  Most find the repetitiveness and mysticalness of the movie a turn off, but I find that it makes this movie that much better.  It really is one of the most inspirational movie I’ve seen in a long time.  I also plan on reading the book one of these days.

Peaceful Warrior gets a 4 out of 5.

This is one of my most favorite trailer of all time.