EXCLUSIVE: Review of the Movie “Old Fashioned”
What 50Shades is NOT
By Rita Davidson
Ever hear the tweet of a bird at the first sign of spring? How lovely, and refreshing it is after a long, bitterly cold winter. Old Fashioned is that same breath of fresh air after just a glimpse of 50Shades of Grey. Brrrr 50Shades is more like a bitterly, cold version of hell for sure. Both are opening this weekend across the US, but the difference is….. well, let me explain…
I was so excited to get an EXCLUSIVE PRE-Screening of this upcoming movie since there is NO announced dates when it will be opening in Canada, unfortunately! ACK!
It opens with a 1920’s pic of an old movie screen, but this is barely an old fashioned story. You could call it a modern story trying to use old fashioned truth. So this is a “reality” story really.
Clay Walsh (Rik Swartzwelder) is the reformed bad guy that has found a ‘version’ of his faith, and hides out in his antique store where he listens to everyone’s stories and enjoys visits with his sweet, Aunt Zella. He’s damaged by his past, (impurity, and some dabbling in pornography, I’m guessing, since its only implied, we don’t see much). These choices he made haunt him and make him sorrowful, remorseful, and humble wanting to be better. But 9 years later still not sure how. Contrast this with Christian from 50Shades the controlling stalker, abusive type with a bad past. hmmm
Amber Hewson (Elizabeth Ann Roberts) can’t be any more different than Clay, she is the high spirited, feisty, full of life girl whose goal it is to save up a jar of money and when it’s full; drive as far as that jar will take her to her new destination! No plans, no goals really, just keep moving, away from her pain too, though in a different way. She’s a breath of fresh air, compared to the way-too-young, bumbling, boring innocent of 50 Shades Ana, that will soon fall for Christian in many less than innocent ways.
Its funny how people deal with pain, some bury it and grow from it like Clay, or become like estranged, possessive Christian. Others put a bandaid over it and keep smiling and moving to forget about it, like Amber. Amber has a few lessons to learn about love here too.
When Amber’s truck runs out of gas right in Clay’s town, the two are brought together in an unexpected way. She rents the apartment above his antique shop and finds out that he has a curious rule: he refuses to be in a room with a woman alone who isn’t his wife. Her curiosity is peaked and she bombards him with questions trying to figure him out. She soon learns the only way to talk to him is to keep breaking things in the apartment, since he is a handy fixer upper. That starts interesting conversations. These “dating” conversations (once she convinces him they like each other) are based on a book – “Red, Yellow, Green” which from my searches looks to be a bogus book.
Contrast this with 50 Shades where the ‘cat and bait’ method is used for the first third of the story, to tantalize readers (and watchers) for the impossible promise of love; Ana and readers/watchers will unfortunately go for literally anything.
At first Clay’s humility seems a little overdone…but as the movie gets going there are some really poignantly, unforgettable moments.
She asks: “What do you want out of life?”
He answers, “to be decent, that’s it. A good person”
When she asks, jokingly, “don’t tell me you found Jesus or something”
He says, “He found me”
She is the least religious one and though he has found his faith, he is still searching for his place in it, when he admits he doesn’t go to Church. His example pulls her along in her faith, and her example helps to make his faith real.
It’s a deep story but by no means not fun. The light hearted moments are real and truly funny too. Like the fun she has taking off the screen door so Clay will have to come fix it again.
One of my favorite quotes, from Clay, “I don’t believe our job is looking, (referring to dating) but becoming.”
Amber’s friends are the ones that think Clay is weird, old fashioned, and constantly making fun of his antics to keep their relationship “pure”. Though he would call it ‘decent’. There is no mention of ‘purity’ in this movie, it’s taught more by example.
Clay’s long time friends are the same, pressuring Clay to just ‘get with it’ and at one point he even gets into a physical fight trying to protect the purity of his soon-to-be-married friend from a stripper. His standing up in front of everyone to stop it, gave his friend the courage to refuse it too. No nudity here, and a difficult subject is handled well. Many young, impressionable men could learn from his courage during a difficult situation.
The struggles today with keeping ‘decent’ and pure are covered very well in this story with real situations of peer pressure, conversation that bring up difficult topics and more.
The soundtrack is decent and this movie flows well interestingly by going back and forth between different scenes to tell the story.
Though some content is more for adults, once you preview it, you may have older teens that would benefit from this story. You will have to decide this. Many of us have struggled with less than perfect pre-marriage habits. Some of us would be relieved to watch two people struggling with pain and healing in this difficult area. It is a very sweet, if painfully, sorrowful at times, modern love story in a time of pressures to conform. In that way it is inspiring!
Another powerful quote by Clay, “a lot of the boundaries that used to be common, we threw away, are there to protect us” They are not afraid to talk about God and faith in this movie and have some great nuggets like this.
This story had me tearing up a few times, but you’ll have to see the movie to find out the rest! 🙂
Points to Consider For Catholics:
- Interestingly Clay talks about the movie Sleepless in Seattle says, ‘it’s not right, the boring guy with allergies in the movie always gets dumped’ YAY! But the movie ends up doing the same thing when she admits she was married, with a less than believable reason to dump ‘her husband’ I thought… Though this is only mentioned twice, it dampened my spirits to see this in there.
- If one can put aside this piece the rest of the story is a valuable one of purity when dating and the pain that comes from impurity. The real life sorrows it causes and how two people try find a way to heal and retain purity amidst struggles.
- As much as this story is about “decency”, Ambers immodesty is pretty average by worldly standards with tank tops, jeans and sleeveless shirts. It is by no means raunchy or sleazy by any means.
- From Catholic standards there is no confession, but one could imagine it there.
- Interestingly there are two characters that cross themselves, but the Church is simply non-denominational.
- There is no swearing or taking the Lords name in vain.
- Who is this movie for? Well, if you have a family where you grew up sheltered in a homeschooling family, no temptations outside of the home, married and started a family in the right order, then you can skip this. 🙂 Yes, these families DO exist! 🙂
- But I’m betting there is alot of Catholics that can learn something from this. Those that need to rediscover their purity after falling. And those needing some encouragement in the struggle, just to name a few.
What did I think of it? I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars for effort. It was a well written, sweet yet, sorrowful story, dealing with a difficult subject. Told in a very balanced way, with well developed characters for adults. That one star lost, is from her being divorced. 🙁 NOT enough to keep from seeing it, but just be aware.
Unfortunately, a lot of the sales for 50Shades this weekend will be from “curiosity. That is NOT a reason to see it! I pray there are no Catholics that would dare consider 50Shades for ANY reason.
But if you have any curiosity at all, be sure to check out “Old Fashioned” and support it so we can get more good, clean, Christian movies made. Filmmaking was MADE for glorifying God and we need some good, strong, talented people like this to take it back!
At least do your part, and not feed that beast, that prowls about the world, seeking whom he can devour.
BUY your TICKETS here. Then come back here and tell me how YOU liked it!??
Leave me your comments? Did you like this review? Will you see this movie? Would you like to see more movie reviews? Let me know! J
Rita Xo 🙂
©Copyright 2015 Rita Davidson & Little Flowers Family Press All Rights Reserved.
Rita is a Catholic wife, and mother of seven, with three autistic boys. Currently a writer, & published author, she is a former hairdresser, professional make up artist with a degree in Natural Health. She is now a Young Living Distributor. After overcoming a stroke, disabilities, and more, they recently lost everything in a devastating house fire that made them homeless for six months. She is determined to lead souls back to Christ by carrying their crosses with Joy!