Seven Days in Utopia is a bizarrely bad film, a sort of contemporary golf western based on a self-help book. Starring Lucas Black and Robert Duvall (with Melissa Leo and pro golfer K. J. Choi), it's the story of Luke Chisholm (Black), a young golfer with an overbearing father. He's just blown his first big game when, speeding angrily down a Texas highway, he comes across a town called Utopia, where Johnny Crawford (Duvall) rides horses and doles out wisdom. Johnny, himself a former golfer, asks Luke to give him one week and he'll fix Luke's game.

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Johnny proceeds to teach Luke about golf through journal writing, fly-fishing, painting ("All golf shots start with a blank canvas"), flying a small airplane (Johnny heartwarmingly turns the engine off so Luke can save the day and build confidence!), and throwing washers into a cup. Luke catches fireflies in a jar with redheaded diner waitress Sarah (Deborah Ann Woll, the vampire Jessica from True Blood) and clashes with a hotheaded young cowboy ("Let's settle this with a little ol' game o' cowboy poker after the rodeo tonight").

There are only three surprises: First, it is impressive to fit this many clichés into one not especially long movie. Second, how did they get Robert Duvall to sign up for this?! And last, although we do get plenty of hints (the movie opens with a Bible verse), the big reveal at the end is that (spoiler alert!) God is way more important than golf. All the Mr. Miyagi–style lessons have the secret agenda of teaching Luke to read the Bible, go to church, and stop caring so much about sports. It's so bad, so spectacularly treacly and heavy-handed, that it almost comes back around to good (or at least funny)—but not quite. recommended

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