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Film Review: Preachy, Absurd ‘Seven Days in Utopia’ Weakens Own Message

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CHICAGO – What do Robert Duvall and Melissa Leo have in common? They both have won an Oscar and they both cashed a paycheck for the fake virtuous hack job called “Seven Days in Utopia.” For Duvall especially, maybe the mortgage payment is due on the vacation home.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

Utopia takes a unholy sport, golf, and tries to bless it with some sort of come-to-Jesus importance that ends up being embarrassing for all involved (again, especially Duvall). In a story that only could be invented in the mind of a feverish Christian golf addict, Utopia can only exist within that segment of the United States population who long for something this country has never had.

Luke Chisholm (Lucas Black) is a rising Texas golf pro who flakes out on the final hole of a Lone Star State golf tournament that he has well in hand. He takes some bad advice from his caddie, who is also his father (Joseph Lyle Taylor), as he melts down. This is indicative of the pressure that Daddy has put on him his entire life, and he leaves the tourney in a huff, peeling rubber and driving into the Texas void.

He ends up wrecking his car in Utopia, Texas (he almost hits a cow, ha-ha), and is found by a lovable old coot named Johnny (Robert Duvall), who happens to be a a former golf pro. How fortuitous for Luke! In between staying at the Old Country Inn, run by the irascible Mabel (Kathy Baker), and wooing the town virgin, Sarah (Deborah Ann Woll), Luke learns to channel his rage into something more important, like using a bizarre putter and a Bible to win golf tournaments. Oh yeah, there’s the Widow Lily (Melissa Leo), mother of Sarah, and the old villain-who- turns-out-to-be-a-friend, Jake (Brian Geraghty).

“Seven Days in Utopia” everywhere on September 2nd. Featuring Robert Duvall, Lucas Black, Melissa Leo, Kathy Baker, Joseph Lyle Taylor and Deborah Ann Woll. Adapted by David Cook (from his book), Rob Levine, Matt Russell and Sandra Thrift, directed by Matt Russell. Rated “G”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Seven Days in Utopia”

Picture This: Lucas Black as Luke and Robert Duvall as Johnny in ‘Seven Days in Utopia’
Picture This: Lucas Black as Luke and Robert Duvall as Johnny in ‘Seven Days in Utopia’
Photo credit: Van Redin for Utopia Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Seven Days in Utopia”

Charlie's picture


Man, you Hollywood guys just can’t stand a clean movie can you?

Greg Hicks's picture

Patrick McDonald's Comments

I found your assement very interesting, entertaining, and another example of Hollywood’s superficial, drama queen type reporting. What happened to the day of making movies with good values, uplifting, encouraging, and even a good story wich character and integrity. Would love to invite Patrick out to the south where family, friends, visitors, and faith matter to people. Southern hospitality is still alive and well in Texas!

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