Review: ‘Old Fashioned’ an unrepentantly faith-based romance

Elizabeth Roberts (Amber) and Rik Swartzwelder (Clay) in "Old Fashioned."
(Skoche Films)

Up against “Fifty Shades of Grey” this Valentine’s weekend, the unrepentantly faith-based “Old Fashioned” serves up its own take on love and romance.

The perky Amber (Elizabeth Ann Roberts) is a free spirit who believes fresh starts involve getting in her car and driving until she runs out of gas.

She stalls in front of a Midwestern antique store owned by the sullen Clay (Rik Swartzwelder), once a hard-partying frat boy producing “Girls Gone Wild"-type videos until he let Jesus into his life.

Now he has major boundaries where members of the opposite sex are concerned. He doesn’t even like being alone in the same room with them.


Of course, it’s preordained that these two seemingly incompatible individuals are somehow meant for each other, but, as written, directed and played by Swartzwelder, Clay is such a self-absorbed, judgmental jerk that anyone who would willingly subject themselves to his endless pontificating could rival Anastasia Steele in the masochism department.

More disturbing is the film’s apparent conviction that the surefire way to a woman’s heart involves lots of candles and a mani-pedi, the sort of notion that isn’t so much cute and old-fashioned as it is acutely offensive.


“Old Fashioned”


MPAA rating: PG-13 for thematic material.

Running time: 1 hour, 54 minutes.

Playing: in limited release.