Seven Days in Utopia
Starring: Lucas Black, Robert Duvall, Melissa Leo, Deborah Ann Woll
Written by: David L. Cook, Rob Levine, Matthew Dean Russell, & Sandra Thrift
Directed by: Matthew Dean Russell
Release Date: September 2, 2011
The true story behind Seven Days in Utopia is an inspiring triumph of the human spirit, much like that of Remember the Titans and The Rookie. However, this film doesn't even come close to matching the quality of those sports dramas since it's purpose is quite simply to preach about God. Because of this, the only audience that this film will appeal to are the Christian moviegoers. The big difference between Utopia and other sports films is that this is not a story of a man improving his game, it's the story of a man discovering God. It's about Luke Chisholm (Lucas Black from Get Low), a golfer who has just had the worst game of his life. When his car crashes in a small town called Utopia, he meets an old pro golfer named Johnny Crawford (Robert Duvall). Johnny offers to help Luke learn to become a calm, centered man, which will make him a better golfer. Of course, the biggest part of this process is for Luke to surrender himself to God. The film is based on a book by David L. Cook, a psychologist with a Ph.D. in Sport and Performance Psychology. Cook co-wrote the script, along with Rob Levine (an uncredited production executive on Columbo), Sandra Thrift (cro-writer of Letters to God), and Matt Russell (a visual effects coordinator/assistant). Russell also directs with the film, but he does it very poorly. The first scene features Chisholm receiving a phone call from his dad and he refuses to answer. This would have been enough to establish their damaged relationship, but Russell feels the need to throw in flashbacks of the incident that has just occurred. The only thing that these flashbacks achieve is making the audience believe that the filmmakers think they're too stupid to pick up on subtle hints. To top it all off, the film ends by leaving out the final, defining moment of the film. Instead of showing whether or not Chisholm actually won the championship, they place an ad for a website called www.didhemaketheputt.com. This cheap ad is one of the many examples of the film's blatant goal to preach about the good Lord. Seven Days in Utopia is not only a bad film, but it's talk of God makes it seem pointless to anyone who does not share the religious views of the filmmakers.
Seven Days in Utopia