Tiger Woods Should Visit Duvall’s ‘Utopia’; Unsexy ‘Orgy’: Film

Tiger Woods doesn’t need a new swing coach or a new caddie to regain his championship form. He needs Johnny Crawford.

Crawford (Robert Duvall) is the golf guru in “Seven Days in Utopia” who turns struggling pro Luke Chisolm (Lucas Black) into a world-beater with his unorthodox training methods. Johnny’s holistic philosophy -- he makes Luke paint, fish, fly an airplane and dodge rodeo bulls in order to regain his mojo -- might be the perfect solution for Tiger’s woes.

Based on David Cook’s best-selling novel, “Golf’s Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia,” this syrupy confection is supposed to be an inspirational tale that teaches us about the important things in life. The spiritual guidance is so heavy-handed, though, that it feels like sitting through a long, boring sermon.

Luke runs into Johnny -- almost literally, when the car he’s driving crashes into the rancher’s cow pasture in the real town of Utopia, Texas -- while he’s still fuming over a final- hole collapse that cost him a tournament title. Luke is ready to quit the game before Johnny persuades him to spend a week in Utopia soaking up his homespun philosophy and small-town values.

Johnny, a former tour golfer whose career was ruined by booze, isn’t big on technical instruction. His lessons boil down to the bromide “see, feel, trust” and allusions to God’s role in improving your driving, putting and short game. (Duvall has played the country wise man much better in other movies, while Black is distinguished only by his Texas twang.)

Catching Fireflies

Golf isn’t Luke’s only pursuit in Utopia, whose open spaces and gorgeous sunsets are beautifully filmed by cinematographer M. David Mullen.

He’s smitten by Sarah (Deborah Ann Woll from HBO’s “True Blood”), a tall redhead whose late dad was Johnny’s best friend. The young lovebirds ride horses, catch fireflies and pray together, which makes Sarah’s redneck suitor (Brian Geraghty) insanely jealous.

The film, directed and co-written by Matthew Dean Russell, moves inexorably toward its climax at Luke’s comeback tournament, which features cameos by K.J. Choi and other PGA players. Choi plays a fearsome golfer named T.K. Oh, a pun that deserves a two-stroke penalty.

After the cliffhanger ending, the audience is instructed to visit a website for more information. I already knew enough.

“Seven Days in Utopia,” from Visio Entertainment, is playing across the U.S. Rating: *1/2

‘Old Fashioned Orgy’

The most interesting thing about “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy” is the title. Beyond that, all you’ve got is a lame comedy about a group of 30-something New Yorkers planning an orgy to mark the end of their annual summer get-togethers at the beach.

The movie, co-directed by TV writers Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck, isn’t funny or sexy. And the orgy itself turns out be as titillating as a dentists’ convention.

Jason Sudeikis plays Eric, an immature hedonist who hosts wild parties at his dad’s house in the Hamptons. When the old man (Don Johnson) announces that he’s selling the place, Eric decides an orgy with his longtime friends would be an appropriate sendoff.

The rest of the movie is the buildup to the big event, which may or may not include a crude slob (Tyler Labine); a former classmate who pines for Eric (Michelle Borth); a woman rebounding from a bad breakup (Lake Bell); an incessant worrier (Lindsay Sloane) and a jobless nerd (Nick Kroll).

Two other members of the circle, a couple played by Will Forte and Lucy Punch, aren’t invited on the grounds they’re getting married and already have a child. But they still want to participate to prove they’re not old fogies.

My advice to them and anyone considering buying a ticket to this movie: Stay away.

“A Good Old Fashioned Orgy,” from Samuel Goldwyn Films, is playing in major U.S. cities. Rating: *


What the Stars Mean:

****          Excellent
***           Good
**            Average
*             Poor
(No stars)    Worthless

(Rick Warner is the movie critic for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are his own.)

To contact the writer on the story: Rick Warner in New York at rwarner1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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