DVD: Seven Days in Utopia

Directed by: Matt Russell

Starring: Robert Duvall, Jerry Ferrera, Lucas Black, Melissa Leo, Deborah Ann Woll, Brian Geraghty, Joseph Lyle Taylor, Dora Madison Burge and Kathy Baker.

Running time: 99 minutes, Rated G

Based on the best selling novel by David L. Cook is the story of young golfer Luke Chisolm who recently had a public embarrassing game while attempting to make it on the pro tour. He tries to escape his life and becomes stranded in the small town of Utopia Texas. He accepts the help of an eccentric rancher named Johnny Crawford who insists he can change his outlook on life and improve his game.

I can’t remember the last time I watched a live action Rated G movie; I didn’t think they made them anymore. In a nutshell, this film is almost an exact copy of Cars and Doc Hollywood, with a bit of The Legend of Bagger Vance, and pile on some heavy Christian values. I could overlook the golf part which I’m not a fan of, but the blatant recycled storylines of the aforementioned films bothered me throughout the viewing of the movie. There’s an attempt at a love interest, but the romantic storyline is almost like it was thrown in just because the filmmakers thought the movie needed it; but her character made no difference to the film whatsoever. I also didn’t buy the father/son relationship either. Luke’s dad (Joseph Lyle Taylor) is his overbearing teacher and caddy who abandons him during his lowest moment, and when Luke comes home after being in Utopia, his dad apologizes and all is forgiven after he picks up a bible? Really? That’s all it takes?

One thing I couldn’t understand is that Kathy Baker is not mentioned the credits,(nor even IMDB) because she’s a prominent character in the film. I think she’s one of the better actresses out there, so her credit omission is a mystery. Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood) is adorable, and shows her range that she can do family films.

Special features include:
Beyond the Game – A short featurette with cast and crew interviews on the making of the film.
Who’s Your Johnny – cast, crew, golf pros, commentators and golf analysts talk about their mentors from the game.
PGA Certified – Golf pros who were involved in the making of the film in order to give the film more credibility.

Seven Day in Utopia is a long, lackluster film; even for people who love golf. It’s a safe film for your kids and grandparents sit in front of, but they’ll be bored out of their minds.  I had to take several breaks to finish watching this film because it was so boring. It’s background noise if you’re the only one in the house and need something to not feel so alone. I sort of feel guilty for not liking this film, but when I watch a film, I want to be entertained; this film did not deliver.

Total rating: F

Reviewed by: JM Willis

Seven Days in Utopia

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