Old Fashioned makes courtship look appealing

by Bob Brown
Posted 2/13/15, 12:10 pm

Old fashioned has taken it on the chin. Long gone are the days of courting and saving intimacy for marriage. But the modern attitude toward sex is not exclusive to the unchurched. The new film Old Fashioned (rated PG-13 for thematic elements) examines the struggles young, single Christians face in a sex-saturated culture. It opened today, just in time for Valentine's Day.

Clay (played by producer/director/writer Rik Swartzwelder) runs an antique shop and cares for his aging aunt. He has made a promise to his future wife—whomever she might be—that he will not spend time alone in a room with a woman. Amber (Elizabeth Ann Roberts) drifts from town to town, carrying more baggage than can fit in the trunk of her car. Married at 19 and divorced two years later, she has repeatedly sought self-worth in the arms of lovers. Clay, a former producer of pornographic videos, also is trying to escape his past. But since his conversion to Christ, feelings of guilt and hypocrisy have pushed him away from the church.

Amber arrives in Clay’s town and rents a room from him above the antique store. She scoffs at his old fashioned rules—like no kissing until the wedding day—yet is drawn to how different he is from the men in her past. She sabotages the appliances in her apartment, just so he’ll have to come visit her. While he makes the repairs, he shares his life story, telling Amber—who must wait outside the apartment door—he’s a changed man since “Jesus found me.”

The storyline unfolds at the pace of an old fashioned courtship—it has its share of slow moments and awkward dialogue. Still, many Christian twenty- and thirty-somethings (as sexually active as their non-Christian peers according to some studies) will see themselves in Clay and Amber, desiring godly relationships but struggling to overcome the consequences of past mistakes and foolish advice from non-believing friends.

But the good news of the gospel surpasses every fairytale ending: If anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creation—(even if) the old (fashioned) things have passed away.

Bob Brown

Bob is a graduate of the WORLD Journalism Institute’s mid-career course.

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