My husband and I watched Old Fashioned together the first time on our somewhat-fuzzy TV. I watched it later on my laptop because it so deeply drew me in and I was able to better observe some of the beautiful imagery and symbolism in the film~ Rick Swartzwelder, the Producer/Director/Screenwriter of this film is extremely gifted in painting an exquisite canvas of the images/scenes that make up this movie. I think that a person has to watch it at least twice to fully appreciate his artistry and sensitivity in making this film.
Old Fashioned is not your typical sweet love story served Hallmark-style. It is a gritty, sometimes-painful look into the lives of two flawed ~ but deeply-searching human beings who find, through the grace of Christ, deep love for one another. And yet at the same time, it is fun to watch, peppered with enough humor to lighten the heaviness of some of the themes. The storyline also just draws the viewer in; it was so excellently done.
Description of the movie:
Clay Walsh is a "former frat boy" (from the back cover of the film) who has turned to Christ and forsaken his formerly-sinful lifestyle. He lives in a small midwestern town in the state of Ohio where he works in an antique shop restoring "old-fashioned" odds and ends. He holds high ideals for a flawless courtship, one in which he has pledged not to be alone in a room with a woman who is not his wife. As the film unfolds, the viewer learns that Clay still struggles with severe guilt over his past sins and is trying in his own strength to keep his high standards. Later, he embraces the grace of Christ over his past regrets and a beautiful transformation occurs in Clay's life.
The main female character, Amber, is a fun-loving unbeliever who goes wherever the wind takes her, who has been hurt in past relationships, and who providentially ends up in Ohio, renting the small apartment above the building where Clay restores furniture. She is mystified by Clay's gentlemanly behavior, sincerity, and high ideals, although she thinks him a "little odd."
Clay and Amber slowly and sweetly, though sometimes painfully, fall in love with one another. Clay ultimately sheds his legalistic mindset toward romantic love while at the same time still maintaining his high standards and respect towards women. Amber, in my understanding, embraces Christ as her Savior toward the end of the film, realizing that "all things have been made new," (referencing her past sinful life of mistakes and broken relationships), and Clay and Amber become engaged in a very tender love scene (enter box of tissues and replay button ;-)).
Some things (among others :-)) that I LOVED about this film:
- Clay's sensitivity towards Amber and his genuine love and respect for her that is not "forced."
- Amber's conversion and her very realistic portrayal of a woman who has been hurt in past relationships but who comes to know Christ and understand His forgiveness.
- The artistic spin that Rick Swartzwelder gives to the film.
- The beautiful biblical message of redemption and grace and true Christlike behavior from a man towards a woman.
- The film writer's willingness to take on difficult issues with tact and grace in a realistic manner.
Some things to consider before viewing this film:
I highly, highly, recommend this film. However, it deals with some heavy topics ~ a scene with a "stripper" at a bachelor's party - which is very carefully done, (in my judgement); several nightclub scenes (also carefully done); and a scene in a bar. There are a few instances (very rare) of somewhat "crude" language - spoken by unbelieving characters (for example, the radio host uses the phrase "knocked-up" - which is probably the strongest language used - this is in order to show how degrading his behavior is, in contrast to Clay's). Someone may feel uncomfortable with these things; the film is Rated PG-13 for those reasons. I believe that the film was beautifully, tastefully done, but if you think that these issues would be offensive, I wanted to make sure that I let my readers know about them ahead of time.
I would recommend this film for anyone over the age of 16-18. I tend to stay on the conservative side of things, because I always believe that it is better to wait until a person is mature enough to handle the content that they view. So, even though this film is a sweet, sensitive, Christ-honoring love story, I wanted to be sure to give that heads-up. :-)
So go grab your husband, or a friend, or several friends and watch this movie! :-) It is a wonderful film for couples to watch together - it is a wonderful film to watch alone with a nice big slice of cake :-). I hope that it will bless you as much as it blessed my heart. We need more films like it.
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