“Seven Days in Utopia” – Review
“Seven Days in Utopia” was a film loosely based on the game of golf. I say loosely because many times the direction that many of these films tend to take take on philosophical journeys that the characters go through that are beyond the valley of just a simple sports journey. Some of the best movies in the genre are usually movies that are more about the people and their lives rather than the sport proper. “Seven Days” attempts show one man’s journey as a high strung, easily irritated, golfer and transform into one of the greats of the game.
The story follows Luke, a golfer who has a hot head and a short fuse, through his journey to Utopia. Utopia is a small Texas town where things are done the old fashioned way. Everyone knows everyone, folks go to church on Sunday, and there is always a local BBQ or party to waste away the summer nights. Luke is there to meet up with old Johnny (played by Robert DuVall) who agreed to show him what it is to be one with the game of golf.
While I enjoyed probably the first half of the film. Later, it became apparent that the film makers were pushing towards a spirituality message. Playing up the high drama of the final holes of a golf tournament the ending leaves the viewer asking more questions that those that are answered. we are left with a website address to “finish the movie” and that just seems like in poor taste. It would be like the ending of Rocky ending with “did he win the fight? go to this special website to find out”. While I felt the movie climaxed earlier. Most of the scenes felt really indulgent on the part of the obvious christian filmmakers.
I thought the acting was ok. It didn’t feel like the main character grew that much from where we saw him in the beginning of the film. Even the antagonists of the film eventually become his best friends out of really nowhere. I never felt like the journey was rewarding in a typical sense. I understand that films work on many levels it just felt like the one that this one provided was tinged with overtones that may not have necessarily been appropriate to the plot of the film.
While I am not personally against movies with spiritual messages, in fact, I typically do not mind them. This one breaks the mold for me. I was put off by the ending and how none of the antagonists seemed to go anywhere in the plot. I did not appreciate a film that did not show a proper climax. In these sporting movies, the point of them is the viewer to know the outcome of the journey. By delaying the ending and cattle herding the audience to a website just seems wrong. I’m certain this isn’t the first time a film has approached the problem in this manner, but it was the first time for me and with everyone watching the film you could hear the groans as everyone immediately shuffled towards the exits. It isn’t a bad movie, but I’m not sure I could recommend this to anyone except those who really like spiritual message movies.