Saturday, February 7, 2015

Old Fashioned Verses Fifty Shades of Gray

       The movie Old Fashioned is being released nationwide Feb 14th 2015. It opened a week early in 3 cities of which I was close enough to visit one on opening night. It is excellent movie.  It is rare to find a modern day movie produced with creative thought, plot, humor, cultural relevance, morally wholesome all wrapped up into one film.  I'd love to share more about the movie, but then I would be a spoiler to those who have yet to attend and see it. But why I saw it and stand behind it is another story I'm glad to share. Rik Swartzwelder who wrote, produced and acted in the film is a man who crossed my path many years ago when I was a youth pastor in Lakeland, Florida. Some 20 years later I got a package in the mail with two pre- released books from Rik. 

        Rik found me on Facebook and sent me a gift in advance of his film release. What a blessing, but also what a challenge. The challenge was I don't do romance novels.  Feeling a pleasure to honor the gift I pushed myself to read my first ever romance book. I must admit it took me awhile, but eventually I got into it. I actually finished it and my wife and daughter got a good laugh at my reaction to the book as we all looked forward to the film. 

       My daughter and her friend were getting ready to go on a missions trip for 8 weeks to Haiti and Dominican Republic. Just as they headed out the door I offered to send the book with them if they promise to bring it back.  The report back on the book was really interesting. It became the only book anyone brought with them outside of the bible. Many times over they read the book aloud to each other and quoted from it and read it many times among themselves individually.  But why?  Because the book and the movie are filled with virtue, honor and respect for women and men. From everything I read about Fifty Shades of Grey it appears that these films are approaching the same subject of love and sex from completely different directions. One film approaches fulfillment of relationships from lust and self gratification and the other from long lasting honor and respect for another person. 

       Old Fashioned is spiritual, but not overly religious. It's Judaeo Christian without shoving it down your throat. As I watched the movie with my wife of 25 years it made me think of our marriage, our commitment and our journey. Thoughts came to mind of "could I have lived better" and "how can I improve my current romance" to strength what has been a glorious journey with my mate.   

       If there was an age group I could recommend to watch Old Fashioned it would be those age 15 and older not married.  I believe married couples should see it as well, but I believe those not married would see something that creates in them a desire to raise the bar of excellence and integrity in all relationships.  As I observe our culture I would tend to agree with what was insinuated in the film that our culture is weak on honor and respect in romantic relationships.  This film was a restoration of greatness in films while still being extremely culturally relevant.  Two thumbs up!!!