Did you read Fifty Shades of Grey and think to yourself, "This would be a great story if there wasn't so much sex involved?" If so, when Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan hit the big screen as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey on February 14, 2015, you'll want to check out Old Fashioned instead.
Old Fashioned, which brands itself the anti-Fifty Shades of Grey, stars Rik Swartzwelder and Elizabeth Ann Roberts. Swartzwelder, who also wrote and directed the film, plays the reformed frat-boy Clay Walsh. In pursuit of a "Godly" romance, Clay has vowed not to be alone with his intended bride before they walk down the aisle. Instead, he intends to woo his lady the old-fashioned way -- complete with flowers, handwritten love notes, and long walks on the beach.
Swartzwelder said the film's release was timed to provide a wholesome alternative to those who are offended by Fifty Shades of Grey's portrayal of a BDSM relationship. Swartzwelder says he hopes Old Fashioned will provide a way to celebrate "stable, romantic relationships."
In a press release announcing the premier date, Swartzwelder said:
"I wanted to tell a love story that takes the idea of Godly romance seriously. A story that, without apology, explores the possibility of a higher standard in relationships; yet, is also fully aware of just how fragile we all are and doesn't seek to heap guilt upon those of us that have made mistakes."
Which movie is more likely to be a hit? Fans of E.L. James' "mommy porn" trilogy have been eagerly anticipating the Fifty Shades of Grey movie since the film was first announced in 2012. Until last week, it appears that nobody had heard of Old Fashioned's upcoming Valentine's Day debut. Swartzwelder reports that the screenplay for the modestly budgeted indie flick was written over a decade ago, but it struggled to find an audience until the recent increased interest in faith-based films spurred by the success of titles like Son of God and Heaven is for Real.
Although Old Fashioned won't have the widespread distribution of Fifty Shades of Grey, those involved with the film say their primary audience will be religious groups who don't agree with the Fifty Shades of Grey pop-culture obsession. The studio releasing Old Fashioned is Freestyle Releasing, the same distributor that brought us the popular 2014 Christian drama God's Not Dead. If nothing else, Freestyle Releasing has already proven that they can succeed in their own niche market.
Old Fashioned's tagline is "Chivalry is making a comeback." What do you think? Is the film a worthy alternative to Fifty Shades of Grey? Which one is your Valentine's Day movie pick?
[Photo courtesy of Old Fashioned].