Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

Movie Review ~ Old Fashioned

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Old FashionedOld Fashioned, rated PG-13
** ½
Intentionally released on the same date as Fifty Shades of Grey to provide a different perspective, this is a well-made and acted film with a good message about dating. However, the movie has a serious flaw. More about that later.
Clay (played by Rik Swartzwelder, who also wrote and directed the film), runs an antique business, named Old Fashioned, in a small Ohio town. It was given to him as a graduation present by his dear Great Aunt Zella, well played by Dorothy Silver. Above the shop is a furnished apartment. He shows the apartment to Amber (Elizabeth Roberts), an attractive young woman whose plan was to drive her car until it ran out of gas and wherever she runs out of gas would be where she would look for a place to live. This is not new for Amber, as she later reveals that she has lived in fourteen states and has had several failed relationships.
But Clay, who seems to be somewhat older than Amber, will not walk into the apartment with Amber. Clay, who is not married, has made a promise not to be alone in a room with a woman who is not his wife, something Amber finds strange. In fact, Clay tells Amber that he will not even kiss a woman until his wedding ceremony.
Almost immediately the free spirited Amber takes a liking to Clay. She creates reasons for him to have to come to the apartment and fix a clogged drain, etc., all the time she waits outside the door talking to him. Eventually, Clay also becomes attracted to Amber, but Clay is socially uncomfortable to say the least. It turns out that he has a past that he is not proud of. He became a Christian some time ago, but is self-absorbed, suffering with guilt and shame. He has become judgmental and as a result is fairly isolated. In fact, other than Zella, his only friend seems to be David (LeJon Woods). He doesn’t attend church on a regular basis because he couldn’t put up with the hypocrites, as he calls them. All of this complicates Clay and Amber’s growing relationship.
But here’s the problem with this better than average faith based film. Amber is not a believer when they start dating – far from it. And Clay doesn’t in any way try to bring her along to a better understanding and acceptance of Christianity. In fact, it is Amber who eventually asks him if they could go to church together. And despite Clay’s admirable thoughts about dating (really what used to be called courtship), he blatantly violates 1 Corinthians 6:14 by dating a non-believer. 1 Corinthians 6:14 states:
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (ESV)
So of all of Clay’s “rules”, he forgot perhaps the biggest one by dating a non-believer.
I really enjoyed this film, though some may find that it moved too slowly at times. The characters are quite likeable, especially Amber, Clay’s Great Aunt Zella, and Joseph Bonamico as George the dealer who stops by Clay’s shop periodically to sell him antiques. But the whole time, I found myself pulling for Clay and Amber to grow in a relationship that was unequally yoked.
There is no bad language in the film and it could easily have been rated PG.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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