Thursday, February 12, 2015

Old Fashioned Movie Review #OldFashionedMovie

Meme from

Old Fashioned is not so old fashioned, it's a real movie about messy life that has been around since the beginning of time, and the happiness that forgiveness and real love can bring.  I have to admit, that when I saw the first trailer for Old Fashioned, I really wasn't very excited for this movie.  I had an opportunity to prescreen the movie, but I was going to pass.  I thought, "Maybe I'll see that movie when it comes out on video."  Thankfully, my hubby saw the trailer, and he said, "We have to see this movie!"

There is only one other movie that my husband took me to that I really didn't know what I was in for, but just like this movie, I was so glad he took me.  That first movie was Joshua (2002, starring Tony Goldwyn and F. Murray Abraham), and that has been one of my favorite movies ever since.  Old Fashioned is definitely in my top 10, maybe even my top 5.  This is not your typical seen-it-all-before "Hallmark" type romance story.  It's not an "everyone is perfect" Christian movie that some might think any movie associated with the term Christian might be.  My daughter pointed out to me the other day that books at the library get an "R" on them for Restricted, but they also get an "R" on them for Religious.  50 Shades of Grey was rated "R" for "unusual behavior", and from what I've read about that book to movie adaptation, it's not the type of unusual behavior I want to see.  In contrast, Old Fashioned is the Romans 12:2 kind of "unusual behavior"... you know "Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world...".

So, for me, the trailer made the movie look slow.  I agreed with what everyone said in the trailer, it just didn't excite me.  Now that I've seen the movie, the original trailer makes me smile.  You can see for yourself what you think of that trailer:

I have to tell you, Old Fashioned is an awesome movie.  Visually, the movie is beautiful to look at, the background, the costumes, the actors and actresses, even the furniture and vehicles.  The main female character dresses modestly.  I really like her outfits; some of them were cute dresses with leggings and boots.  She only wears pants once in the movie that I can remember, that is the sign of a timeless movie to me. The soundtrack enhances the experience of the movie, and I love how an old fashioned record player is used multiple times.

Old Fashioned  is a real story, the characters are people you might know, with real pasts and struggles, and real hope and love.  Rik Swartzwelder is the Writer/Producer, but since the actor playing the main character in Old Fashioned dropped out at the last moment, he also became the main character, and I'm glad he did.  This video on "The Heart of Old Fashioned" tells the story behind the film, and is really worth watching.

Amber is Clay's love interest in the movie.  She breezes into to town with the end of her tank of gas.  That tank of gas took her to be a tenant in the apartment above Clay's antique shop.  The antique shop where Clay makes old things like new again.  Which is an underlying theme in the movie.  2 Corinthians 5:17 says "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has gone, the new has come." That verse is great, and makes sense, but the actual quote was part of Revelation 21:5 where Jesus says:  "... I am making everything new!..."  (This is an edit since we took the kids to see the movie today, and I thought that Revelation was the right verse when I was writing originally, but I kept second guessing myself!  I am terrible at doing that.)

So, Clay was a bad-boy, frat boy for most of college, but then he found God, and became a Christian.  He set some really high standards for himself, especially in the area of women.  I say "really high standards", but I agree with Clay that they are God's Standards, and honestly, 90 years ago, when my great-grandparents were courting none of those standards would have seemed strange.  (Yes, I met my great-grandparents, knew them, and heard their stories.  They were married 73 years and 11 months before they passed away within about a month of each other.)  So, Clay's theories on dating intrigue Amber, and she finds ways to talk to him.  It's in the trailer, so not a spoiler, that Amber breaks things in her apartment just to get Clay to come up and talk to her while he's fixing them, even though she has to stand outside the screen door, wrapped in a quilt.  Eventually they begin courting.

Clay and Amber's friends are different, quirky, okay, they are the folks you work with, your neighbors... and they are just a hilarious, as are Clay and Amber.  I do not remember the last time I laughed so much at a movie!!!  And I know the last movie that I laughed so hard I nearly cried at was Mom's Night Out; if you've seen that movie, you have some idea of how funny Old Fashioned is.  I said that if I had to put Old Fashioned in a genre, it would have to be Romantic Comedy; my hubby said he would have to change the genre name to Hilarious Romance.  And it's good funny, not stupid, or potty humor funny, but genuine "Wow! I could not stop myself from laughing."  Everyone has their funny moments, but Clay's Aunt Zella is a character you do not want to miss.  I cannot think of anyone to compare Aunt Zella to, but she is just fabulous. Check out this clip from the Old Fashioned Facebook page on Aunt Zella (which my hubby says doesn't even do her justice):

And back to the real-ness of the movie, there are moments when I was on the edge of my seat.  I didn't know what the main, or side characters, were going to do in some tough situations.  Oh, seriously, I was holding my breath, and just hoping for them to do the right thing.  We also get glimpses into Clay's past, Amber's past, and the current seedy life of one of Clay's college friends.  So, this is not a movie for young children.  Nothing is distasteful or anything that I wished I could go back and cover my eyes, or my ears, but you will know what is being referred to, or going on.  I said in my notes at the theater that they did a good job showing bad things, without actually showing bad things.

I will tell you that my hubby and I are talking our 12 year old son and 14 year old daughter opening weekend.  There is so much good to talk about with your teens, so much to think about if you are planning on getting married, or are already married.  Here's a comparison between Old Fashioned and 50 Shades of Grey, custom made for parents; these are two "Valentine's" movies coming out this weekend.

I also like really like this quote, which I believe was one from Clay in the movie:
from Old Fashioned's Facebook page

For the happy ending/romantic in me, Clay and Amber are so cute; she calls him "Stress Boy" and he calls her "Pretty Girl".  I smiled, laughed, held my breathe and hoped, cheered, and I think I even cried once.  This is one of the best movies that has come to theaters this year.  If you have a theater playing Old Fashioned near you, take the opportunity to support a story about real love, and support good filmmakers. #OldFashionedMovie

SPOILER ALERT:  I love the boxes they make for each other to choose what they are going to do on their next date/outing.  I love when Amber is reading the Bible she bought and reads out loud:  (Hebrews 13:5 or Joshua 1:5) "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (not sure which it was, so that quote may not be exact). "...."Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.""  You can just tell she had a moment with God.  I especially love the happy ending, with a whirlwind makeover including so many touches that show how Clay listened to Amber, and which includes a kiss on the check.  Only, I would have rather they gave Amber an up-do with her pretty hair, rather than straightening the curls.

P.S.:   So, we took our children (teen and preteen) to the movie today.  Daughter loved it!  Son thought it was boring.  I did not laugh as hard, or hold my breath as much, but I knew what was coming.  I smiled A LOT!  I saw a few things I missed before.  I forgot to tell you all that the movie takes place in Ohio, which is Rik Swartzwelder's home state.  I really enjoyed the setting.  It reminded me of any random small town in the Midwest (like home), and the back roads looked like the roads around my grandparent's farms.  After watching the movie again, I want the soundtrack.  There are some really pretty songs on there.  And the record player was a Victrola; I wanted to say that before, but, again, second guessing myself.

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