This Valentine’s 2015, romance-minded moviegoers can choose between the girl-meets-bondage story of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, in which a couple explores their dark desires, or its polar opposite, OLD FASHIONED, about two broken people coming out of the dark into real love. OLD FASHIONED launched its trailer and debuted its key promotional artwork today.
“The timing of it all definitely provides a stark contrast—and that’s the point,” OLD FASHIONED writer/director/star Rik Swartzwelder said. “The conversation should be pushed. Not all fantasy is harmless and not all paths lead to true and lasting love. We have two movies here, both about people with troubled pasts . . . but both taking very different approaches to getting romance right.”
The romantic-drama, OLD FASHIONED centers on Clay Walsh (Swartzwelder), a former frat boy who gives up his carousing ways and now runs an antique shop in a small Midwestern college town. There, he has become notorious for his lofty and outdated theories on love and romance. When Amber Hewson (Elizabeth Ann Roberts), a free-spirited young woman with a restless soul, drifts into the area and rents the apartment above his shop, she finds herself surprisingly drawn to his noble ideas, which are new and intriguing to her. And Clay, though he tries to fight and deny it, simply cannot resist being attracted to her spontaneous and passionate embrace of life. Ultimately, Clay must step out from behind his relational theories, and Amber must overcome her own fears and deep wounds, as the two of them, together, attempt the impossible: an “old-fashioned” courtship in contemporary America.
“The wheels of OLD FASHIONED were in motion long before the FIFTY SHADES book got to Hollywood,” Swartzwelder said. “We didn’t create our film in response to any other specific book or film, at all . . . but the decision to hold-off on our release so it could open alongside FIFTY SHADES? Yes, that was indeed deliberate.”
“We thought it was a unique opportunity to set up a film as antidote,” he continued. “Think of a young woman you care about . . . which love story would you wish for her?”
News of OLD FASHIONED facing off with FIFTY SHADES drew international attention in leading media outlets.
- MTV understood Swartzwelder’s choice: “There’s a faith-based film about ‘old-fashioned courtship’ hitting theaters on the exact same day as the sinful, S&M-filled adaptation of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. And if you thought that was some sort of divine coincidence, you’d be wrong. This is a challenge.”
- Britain’s Daily Mail headlined its story, “Trading bondage for Bibles: Christian movie takes on FIFTY SHADES OF GREY at the box office with its ‘godly romance’ alternative”
- E! Online clearly captured audience options: “If you want to see a love story this coming Valentine’s Day, you can either go to the very clean and tame end of the spectrum, or you can go to the other end of the spectrum that leads to the red room of pain. Your choice.”
“FIFTY SHADES will attract that book’s readers and a lot of curiosity,” OLD FASHIONED Producer Nathan Nazario said. “The OLD FASHIONED audience will include people drawn to real life, real love. Of course, we’re after conversations prompted by two contrasting takes on sex, love and romance . . . on what men and women really want, and what it takes to get it.”
In addition to Roberts (Criminal Minds, Southland, CSI) and Swartzwelder (THE LEAST OF THESE, WAR PRAYER), OLD FASHIONED features Dorothy Silver (THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES), Tyler Hollinger (BLACK DOG, RED DOG; TRUST ME, I’M A LIFEGUARD; Taxi Brooklyn; What Would You Do?), LeJon Woods (HOMEMAKERS, TOMORROW YOU’RE GONE), Nini Hadjis (CROSS-EYED DINNER THEATER PRESENTS!, FOCUS ON ME), Maryann Nagel (INTO THE STORM, TRUE NATURE), Joseph Bonamico (Miami Vice, The Light of Day, Unsolved Mysteries), Lindsay Heath, Anne Marie Nestor (TURBINE, One Life to Live, The Onion News Network) and Ange’le Perez.
OLD FASHIONED is produced by Swartzwelder’s Skoche Films, Nazario of Motion Picture Pro Studios, Dave DeBorde and Nini Hadjis. Freestyle Releasing distributes. Freestyle recently released the faith-based drama GOD’S NOT DEAD, which surpassed $60 million in domestic box office receipts.