Movie Review: Seven Days in UtopiaQuick Plot Summary: A golfer coming out of a major defeat, spends time in a small town and learns about what really matters in life (and how to play golf better, too).
Suggested Ages: 9+ (younger could watch but might be bored)
Though this is a "golf movie" and the lessons the main character learns are in that backdrop of golf, the lessons go far beyond golf and are applicable to any of us, whether you've played golf or not. This film has a strong message that it's good to examine your life and see what you're really living for. Is it to win a big tournament? Get in the record books? Be the next superstar? Have the world's wealth? This movie is all about causing us to put life in proper perspective.
This is a generally feel-good, "down home" southern-feeling (Texas) film with practically no swearing or objectionable content. The story itself, however, I felt left something to be desired. I knew I was in for a bit of a bumpy ride early on in the film when the golfer ends up in this small town after a big defeat, and everyone in town seemingly is watching the Golf sports channel and thus finds out about his defeat. What kind of realism is that??? I know some people watch golf and all, but that's really stretching it...Anyway, this kind of implausible-but-predictable type stuff happens throughout the film. When you come to the place where you start to understand that this movie isn't really about golf, or really even too much about the story, as it is about its main points regarding life, you realize you can cut it a bit of slack. Of course, I didn't really come to that understanding until the very end of the movie...
In fact, if it wasn't for the ending, this movie might not have made recommended status. I won't give it away, but it honestly surprised me, especially because the rest of the movie was fairly predictable and full of clichés.
The film's message is pretty generic and you won't find any real mention of Jesus. The main character's supposed "born again" experience (including with a song playing that boldly uses such words) isn't even remotely representative of a true Biblical "born again" experience, but it's more of just a general letting go of the past and what you've been living for to move forward kind of thing. Very generalized and watered-down, etc. Yet, because of the way it was portrayed, it didn't grandly concern me (though I do wish they would have chosen a different song that didn't use the "born again" verbage). The movie did a similar thing with its "see, feel, trust" thing that is used throughout the movie. It's all kind of generic, vaguely religious type stuff, rather than any real substance. (sidenote: the website that the movie directs people to at the end does have a page that's more specific regarding Jesus and brings more Christian-specific clarity to the movie). The movie's core message of examining your life to see if what you're living for will really matter in the end, I believe is one of great value.
The acting and production quality were fine and sufficient and that's about all that can be said about that. Nothing stellar.
This movie could be a perfectly fine "family night" type of movie, but I'd definitely recommend follow-up discussion to really discuss what some people live for vs. what the Bible says really matters, how we need to "see, feel, trust" in what's true and what's true is Jesus who IS the Truth, what being "born again" REALLY entails (i.e. repentance, faith in Jesus to save us from our sins, etc.) - that it's a whole new life in Jesus, how we need to strive for excellence in life (do everything well) but not lose perspective, the value of having a Godly mentor-like figure in our lives, etc.
Reviewed by Christopher Long,