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11-13-14 Who's Picking a Fight with "Fifty Shades?" OLD FASHIONED
A Small-Budget Indie — Climbs in the Ring With Valentine Weekend's Studio Behemoth
by Michael Conrad
"Old Fashioned" Calls Out “Fifty Shades of Grey”
In this corner, the heavyweight Cineplex champ “Fifty Shades of Grey” — bestselling soft porn about a naïve heroine and a tortured leading man who likes his women that way too. In this corner, "Old Fashioned," in which two souls who are 50 shades of jaded try to build a love to last.
"Old Fashioned" is the story of a former frat boy and a free-spirited woman who together attempt the impossible: an “old-fashioned” courtship in contemporary America.
In his new video riposte to the “Fifty Shades” trailer (full transcript here), "Old Fashioned" writer/director Rik Swartzwelder opens with the obvious. “Why would a modestly budgeted romantic movie like "Old Fashioned" want to jump into the arena and go toe-to-toe in a David vs. Goliath standoff with a cultural juggernaut?
“Well, honestly, because we believe it matters,” he answers. “And I gotta believe — I find it impossible not to believe — that deep down we want to celebrate something more than ‘Fifty Shades.’
As with Christian Grey in “Fifty Shades,” "Old Fashioned" protagonist Clay Walsh packs a past. In contrast to Grey, however, Clay resists his friends’ cynicism and rejects the dead-end pain of standard dating. While Christian Grey leads Ana to the Red Room of Pain, Clay Walsh takes pains to avoid using Amber, whom he’s attracted to.
“When did treating women with respect become the joke?” Clay asks in the film. In an earlier scene he muses, “I don’t believe dating trains us to be good husbands and wives. It trains us to be skilled in the superficial.”
"Old Fashioned" “is a compelling look at modern relationships through the lens of honor,” Melinda Ledman writes in Christian Cinema. “ . . . a fascinating dive into the respectfulness of the past and its plausible application for the present.”
“‘Fifty Shades’ is short-term titillation and "Old Fashioned" offers a long-term alternative,” Producer Nathan Nazario explained. “Audiences want to hear that the best of the past is still possible — that a relationship can be the safe room.”
“Maybe it’s time for a line in the sand,” Swartzwelder said. “How much further can the envelope be pushed? "Old Fashioned" raises questions worth asking from a cultural perspective. What is it that we genuinely aspire to, what is it we truly hope and long for? For ourselves? Our children? Is it objectification? Unbridled pursuit of our basest desires? Is that the legacy we want to create? Is that the American dream?”
On Valentine’s weekend, the battle is at the box office, but Nazario says the action already is underway. “The more clicks on the "Old Fashioned" site, the greater our voice to say the values that got us here are the best ones to take into the ring,” he said.
"Old Fashioned," from Freestyle Releasing, opens nationwide on Valentine’s weekend 2015.
To learn more about "Old Fashioned," visit: OldFashionedMovie.com
For press materials, visit: OldFashionedMovie.com/pressroom or EPK.tv
For updates and breaking news, follow @OldFashionedVow on Twitter or visit the Old Fashioned Movie Facebook page.
About Skoche Films
Skoche Films is an independent motion picture development company dedicated to crafting cinematic narratives that entertain, challenge and inspire. For additional information on Skoche Films and its properties, please visit the official website at http://www.skochefilms.com.
About Motion Picture Pro Studios
Motion Picture Pro Studios is a production and creative services company specializing in film, television and entertainment. For more information on Motion Picture Pro Studios, visit motionpicturepro.com.
About Freestyle Releasing
Freestyle Releasing is a full-service, theatrical, motion picture distribution company that helps independent companies, major studios and mini-major studios exhibit their films in first-class theatrical releases. The founders and principals of Freestyle Releasing, Mark Borde and Susan Jackson, are motion-picture industry veterans. The Freestyle platform is an anytime-anywhere capability in the viewer’s choice of medium, a positive digital viewing experience on any device in any location. http://www.freestylereleasing.com