Seven Days in Utopia

, based on the best-selling inspirational book Golf’s Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia, by David Cook, shows how a person’s personal journey can be given a jolt in the unlikeliest of places–even a lowly golf course. The actors, including Lucas Black, Robert Duvall, Kathy Baker, and Melissa Leo, are absolutely stellar, pouring their hearts into this unusual story that on the surface is simple, but is as profound as any human experience an inch or two below that surface. “How can a game have such an effect on a man’s soul?” says Duvall’s Johnny Crawford in the voice-over at the beginning of the film. Seven Days in Utopia proceeds to attempt to answer just that. Black plays a talented young golfer named Luke who chokes during a tournament, and becomes so despondent that he tries to crash his car. It just so happens that the site of the crash is in Utopia, Texas, near the private links of a retired pro, Crawford, who takes the young Luke under his wing. From Johnny, Luke learns to trust his gut and hone his focus, yet in Utopia, he learns something more: that God is present in every endeavor, in every small act and 10-cent town on earth, if one will only open one’s eyes and heart. Seven Days in Utopia is an old-fashioned family film in the best sense, like Touched by an Angel meets It’s a Wonderful Life. And there’s a little twist in the experience, to as Seven Days in Utopia reaches its moving climax, viewers who want to know the rest of Luke’s story are directed to a website to find the answer to the cliffhanger. For viewers who love the spiritual side of sports, and wholesome family films with a devotional message, Seven Days in Utopia earns championship marks. —A.T. Hurley

Run time: 100 minutes
Rating: G

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