Monthly Archives: November 2014

Why opposites still attract

There’s no getting around it, the story of Old Fashioned involves a couple of characters (Clay and Amber) that couldn’t be more different, especially when they first meet.

Amber is a free-spirit who possesses an amazing spark of life within her that is winsome, full of the promise of joy and adventure, and pretty much irresistible.  The screenplay for Old Fashioned describes her like this:

… mesmerizing.  She is a genuine woman-child.  Sensual.  Spiritual.  Somehow more alive than the rest of us.

And all these things are true and… yet.  Amber also has a knack for hitting the road when life gets too messy and has spent most of her adult life bouncing all over the country.  Out of some serious wounds and fears, she defiantly refuses to put down roots or believe in a “home” that can be safe and lasting.

Clay, on the other hand, is the polar opposite.

He’s nothing but roots.  In fact, he is so rigid and locked into his theories, his ideas, and the familiar safety and comfort of his antique shop that he is nearly absent of joy and adventure.

In a strange way, Clay is someone that has become so good at “righteousness” that he’s actually on the verge of drifting away from God, the very one that inspired him to reach for virtue and integrity to begin with.

And… yet.

Misguided and peculiar as many of his theories are, there’s something about a person that isn’t afraid to stand against the Godless trends of the day… even if, on the surface, they are somewhat emotionally distant and—let’s just say it—boring.

So there they are, Clay and Amber, two souls clearly on opposite ends of the spectrum that still manage to be drawn to each other against all logic and odds.  Why?

There’s no simple answer to that question or even to why the cliché “opposites attract” play out over and over again in movies and life both.

But, I think, in the case of our characters in Old Fashioned, it’s about need—and not on a physical level, but at a deep and genuinely spiritual one.  And they recognize that need and longing in each other, even if they have a hard time communicating and making sense of it all.

Both Clay and Amber have a measure of emptiness and need something found in the other to help pull them away from the extremes of their lives toward a balanced, middle path of living that is closer to what God created them for.

It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.  (Ecclesiastes 7:18)

To be clear, by balanced, middle path I don’t mean lukewarm or passionless.  And I certainly don’t mean to imply a Jerry Maguire “you complete me” kind of thing as a substitute for the reality that only in God do we find full love and acceptance.  No human relationship, even the very best one, can meet 100% of our needs or come close to measuring up to what God offers.

Even so, we need and can help each other as well.  That’s why God put us all in this… together.

And honestly, it applies far beyond romantic relationships.  In families, friendships, churches, teams, businesses… we need each other.

Just like law and grace need each other.

Just like Clay and Amber.

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.  For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.  Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.  (1 Corinthians  12:12-14)

– Rik


Much to be thankful for…


And now, a word from our producer…

Thanksgiving is here.  It can—and should be—a wonderful holiday that provides a time to pause and reflect on the amazing blessings we enjoy and so often take for granted.

Whether you’re single or married, it can also quickly turn into a very stressful time filled with a cornucopia of pressures and anxiety… if you let it.

I’m reminded of a time not so long ago, when I was dating the woman of my dreams and was invited to Thanksgiving dinner with her family.

While the smile grew across my face at the prospect of drawing closer in our relationship, there was, of course, the sudden flash of terror that many experience during this season when they stop to calculate the formula for intense personal scrutiny:

Potential Spouse + Thanksgiving Dinner = Inspection + Interrogation

Was this a recipe for disaster?

To make things even more interesting, our respective families couldn’t be more different. I was from a relatively small, quiet family with relatives peppered across the Northeast.  Hers?  Well, I say this with great fondness, was a large, loud and ahem, passionate Italian neighborhood clan (rolling over fifty deep) that weren’t shy about expressing opinion. Think Everybody Loves Raymond meets The Brady Bunch.

Even if things went south, I thought, at least there was going to be Italian food—which just happens to be my favorite.  And there was going to be lots of it.  Perhaps I could make a covert exit with a 35 gallon size doggie bag.

I decided to mentally prepare.  A checklist might be good for focus.

What to wear?  What to say?

Employment?  Career goals?  How many kids do I want?

Memorize lyrics to the most popular Frank Sinatra songs.  Brilliant.

Political affiliation?  Religious views?  Hmm, potentially divisive.

What if it gets worse?  Giants or Jets?  Mets or Yankees?

How do I politely decline the 3rd serving of eggplant parmesan without insulting an eager Italian mother who seems bent on making sure that the only way for me to leave is for me to be turned on my rotund side and rolled out the garage door?

Doomsday scenario:  Rumor has it that potential mother-in-law and highly influential aunts have an annual pumpkin pie contest.  Compulsory event.  Must choose a winner.  Controversial outcome guaranteed.

What if no matter what I do, they just don’t like me?  It could happen.

Letting your thoughts run away with those pesky, pessimistic “What ifs” can easily take our focus off the amazing “What is.”

One of my favorite verses in the Good Book is Psalm 118:24.  It says “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

It’s a great reminder that whatever the circumstances, challenges or dark days we face, there is so much to be truly thankful for.  Now.  Thankful for what we have.  Thankful for who we are, warts and all.  Thankful for all the imperfect people—just like us—that God gives us the privilege of knowing and loving.

I’ve got so much to be thankful for, both large and small.  We live in a country, while far from utopia, where I’m free to express my opinion, practice my faith and make decisions I believe will be in the best interest of my family.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to share Old Fashioned with audiences across the country who are already responding to the film’s hopeful depiction of what true love can be.

I’m truly grateful for a nation founded on free speech where we can agree to disagree.  A land where Fifty Shades of Grey and Old Fashioned—two movies offering drastically different perspectives on love, romance and respect—can play side by side at the same cinema, leaving audiences the opportunity to make a choice.

In any event, back to my story… so, just how did that Italian Thanksgiving turn out?

You’ll have to ask that beautiful woman of my dreams who’s been my wife for over twenty years.

Truly, the more we focus on our blessings and the many things we have to be thankful for, the less room we have for the fear and anxiety that often cripple us.  Instead of being bound by negativity, we discover the beauty and potential in the situations and people placed in our lives.

An “old fashioned” Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

– Nathan Nazario


Hollywood: May We Have Your Attention?


Looks like OLD FASHIONED is catching the eye of people who think that Valentine’s Day weekend belongs to Fifty Shades of Grey. In response to the newest trailer for the movie about sex and abuse, OLD FASHIONED director Rik Swartzwelder created a video that talks about the importance of a movie that looks at relationships from a Godly perspective.

You can watch the video (followed by the OLD FASHIONED trailer) here:

In an article about the video, industry standard The Hollywood Reporters quotes OLD FASHIONED producer Nathan Nazario:

“Fifty Shades is short-term titillation and Old Fashioned offers a long-term alternative,” says producer Nathan Nazario. “Audiences want to hear that the best of the past is still possible—that a relationship can be the safe room.”

The Old Fashioned Team


The Two Ingredients in Every Successful Relationship


TwoThingsScientists like to study things. Lots of things. Including relationships. In a great article in The Atlantic magazine, we learn that science has uncovered a lot of really interesting and important aspects about relationships.

But at the end of the day, you can boil healthy relationships down to two key ingredients. Get ready … here they are:

  • Kindness
  • Generosity

(of course, we’d suggest that every successful relationship needs a third ingredient, God, but kindness and generosity are a good start)

So, everything your mom taught you when you were a toddler still applies today to dating, marriage, and every other important relationship in your life. And remember, this is science talking!

The Old Fashioned Team



For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother, and will be joined to his wife. And they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

A recent ABC News piece highlighted a married couple that held a ceremony on a California beach to officially “uncouple.” What exactly is “uncoupling?” Brought into the cultural lexicon by actress Gwyneth Paltrow and musician Chris Martin, “uncoupling” is a seemingly acceptable new way of ending a marriage relationship.

The new story reports:

“Clark and Valerie took the wedding rings they exchanged 14 years ago and gave them back to each other. ‘These rings do not symbolize who we are to each other anymore,’ Clark said. ‘So we’re releasing them,’ Valerie added.

“The Tates, who went with their own version of ‘uncoupling,’ believed this was a way to break up their marriage without animosity.”

After decades of rising divorce statistics, could “uncoupling” be the new standard? Or might there be a better option than either divorce or “uncoupling?”

Could it be there’s something to be said about old-fashioned commitment to one’s vows … and to one’s spouse?

The Old Fashioned Team

Three Rules for Ducking Out of Dating Danger


Sadie Robertson, the teenaged daughter of Duck Dynasty stars Willie and Korie Robertson, has been making a name for herself on television’s Dancing With The Stars. Not only is she gaining fans with her dancing, but at the same time, she’s inspiring us with her faith.

A fun-loving teenager who uses her faith to guide her relationships, Sadie has publicly committed to staying pure until marriage. She recently shared her dating guidelines to help teens duck out trouble with Fox 411:

1) Don’t be home alone together
2) Stay outside of each other’s bedrooms
3) Pray together before dates

What do you think? What other rules would you add for teens? Are there different rules for single adults? How do those differ? At OLD FASHIONED, we’d love to hear your thoughts (and rules).

The Old Fashioned Team