REVIEW: 'Old Fashioned' love story opens

by Karen L. Willoughby, |

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (Christian Examiner) – A former frat boy has a change of heart about love, and refuses to kiss a woman until they are married. The ensuing love story shows how love grows from getting closer to the person -- getting to know each other -- and not from sexual intimacy.

"Old Fashioned" opened Valentine's Day weekend to celebrate a Christian view of love, one that is patient, one that is kind.

Deliberately opening the same weekend as a film that romanticizes abuse, "Old Fashioned" illustrates the benefits of self-control.

"Old Fashioned" is not only the name of the antique store around which the film presented by Pure Flix Entertainment of Scottsdale is based.

"A grand romance," according to Focus on the Family's Plugged In review, it also is a nuanced view of people who come to deal effectively with the guilt of their past lives, an undercurrent which "adds a layer of realism to 'Old Fashioned' that's sometimes missing from Christian movies."

Rik Swartzwelder, who stars as Clay, also wrote and directed "Old Fashioned."

He skillfully uses the character of Aunt Zella, a "wise sage," to help Clay realize spiritual performance and piety, if not properly directed and balanced, can turn a person inward instead of outward and upward.

"Even though he's had a relationship with God for years, Clay still needs to hear and internalize the Gospel message of grace in order to pursue Amber wholeheartedly," Plugged In notes. "It's Amber, while not fully grasping onto faith until nearly the end, who in some ways has a better understanding of grace and forgiveness than Clay does. ...

"The result is an unusual thematic emphasis on purity and self-control coupled with forgiveness and grace, right there in the middle of a grand romance."

"Old Fashioned" is "a modern morality play chronicling the slow transformation of a wounded woman into one willing to trust again," wrote reviewer Kam Williams. It also celebrates the convictions of a man who's played the game, found it a sham, and wants something that will satisfy him his entire life.

"Old Fashioned," opening this weekend, is a refreshingly-principled parable proving that a picture championing chastity can be more entertaining, enjoyable and discussion-worthy than one that promotes a world of selfish sexuality.