Seven Days in Utopia

This G-Rated film is targeted specifically for Christian audiences. We are treated to gorgeous Texas landscapes, pleasant Texas drawls and lots of Texas philosophizing. We see a young golfer pop his cork during his debut on the pro circuit. Within a week the film clip is watched by every sports fan in the country and he becomes the laughingstock of pro- fessional golf.

The following week, after a near collision with a bull on a country road, he is taken under the perceptive wing of a local rancher who saw the wreck. During the seven days it takes for his car to be repaired in little podunk Utopia, Texas (which really exists), the older fellow shows our polite young man how to break down the demanding game of golf into manageable chunks. His life lessons range from fly fishing to oil painting, from piloting an airplane to golfing in a thunderstorm. I was reminded of "Wax on... wax off..." in "The Karate Kid."

Here is the cast:
  • Lucas Black ("Get Low") is our golfer, browbeaten by his ambitious father and humiliated by his own loss of control.
  • Robert Duvall ("Crazy Heart") is the rancher/golfing guru, a former championship golfer and reformed drunk. Duvall seems to be echoing his "Tender Mercies" role.
  • Deborah Ann Woll (lots of TV) is the local horse whisperer who helps our hero catch fireflies.
  • Melissa Leo (an Oscar for "The Fighter") runs the local cafĂ©.
  • Joseph Lyle Taylor ("Justified") is our hero's zealous father, who seems to have had a change of heart by the time his son returns home.
For my taste, things are a little too bland: The whole town attends church, the rodeo is like a box social, even the town roughnecks hug our hero when he leaves. I can appreciate that other folks might want to see this one, because it IS very much a family film. I can only hope they turn out in droves and buy tickets to encourage similar projects. There is a vociferous clamor for movies like this, so I can only say, "Put your money where your mouth is!"

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Here's a link to a preview:
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