'Seven Days in Utopia' Hits Theaters

'Seven Days in Utopia'

Based on David L. Cook's best-selling 2009 novel Golf's Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia (Zondervan), Seven Days in Utopia opened Friday in more than 550 theaters across the country.

Last month, Zondervan released a movie tie-in edition to the film—which stars Academy Award-winners Robert Duvall and Melissa Leo. Cook was one of the screenwriters of the movie.

In the sports drama, young Texas golfer Luke Chisholm (Lucas Black) drops out of the sport after being publicly humiliated during a tournament. When Chisholm unexpectedly gets stranded in Utopia, Texas, for a week, he meets an eccentric rancher and former professional golfer Johnny Crawford (Duvall), who teaches him not only about a better swing, but a better way of life.

The film has been heavily marketed to the faith-based community, especially pastors' screenings. The producers have created a grassroots campaign, which includes a ministry resource site.

Barry Landis, one of the producers, said that the film could have the same impact as Cook's book, "which has helped transform the lives of many men and their families."

"Men have bought the book in bulk to share with their men's ministries in churches throughout the country, which was one of the reasons it was a best-seller," Landis added.

The movie has received some early mixed reviews. "While corny at times, this sports drama is sure to find a welcoming audience with its down-home Christian message," The Hollywood Reporter observed. "An otherwise cornball, inspirational tale about finding God through golf, Seven Days in Utopia must be given full credit for coming up with something new in movies: To learn what happens at the end, you've got to go online."

The Orlando Sentinel noted that the film "treats its subject as if it's a tap-in for par, and thus, most of the best clubs were left in the bag." Variety added that the movie was "little more than a pleasantly passable Christian sports parable delivered as a sort of Texan golfer's version of The Karate Kid."

Click here for more information on Seven Days in Utopia. No date has yet been set for the DVD release.

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