Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Perfect Valentine’s Date Idea


Okay guys, you know about the Super Bowl. But do you realize Valentine’s Day is only a few weekends away? In other words, you best start planning quickly.

Thankfully, there’s an easy solution: dinner and a movie. And the movie choice has never been easier: OLD FASHIONED. Check out what Bill and Pam Farrel, the directors of Love-Wise, say about the movie:

 “OLD FASHIONED is a fresh look at the real meaning of desire, romance, and love. We hope it becomes a new fashion to be a bit more old fashioned in the way we all handle relationships! Make an OLD FASHIONED movie date and share popcorn and a little true love.”

That’s right: relationship experts recommend OLD FASHIONED. Now that’s Valentine’s Day made simple!

Find a theater near you showing OLD FASHIONED this Valentine’s Day. 

The Old Fashioned Team

We See You…


Have you seen the movie poster or the trailer for OLD FASHIONED in your theater? The film opens on Valentine’s Day weekend and we are hearing from lots of you who have.

When you see the poster, check out this fun line: Chivalry Makes a Comeback. Looking around today, it’s easy to say Chivalry is dead. But with OLD FASHIONED, we think there’s hope for change.

Why is that important? There are a couple of videos that have gone viral recently that help tell the story.

Take this video as an example. It has become a big “hit” on the Internet as it promotes respect and honor of women. Best of all, it features boys who understand what it means to be a man!

And then there’s this one, courtesy of the Huffington Post. As these men are reminded: mother knows best! Maybe these guys in Peru could learn something from the boys in Italy.

And we all be reminded anew that respect should never go out of style when we see OLD FASHIONED on Valentine’s weekend.

The Old Fashioned Team

Key Relationship Questions to Ask


There’s a great post at Crosswalk about the most important (and oftentimes the most difficult) questions you should ask if you are seriously considering marriage. Based on the book 12 Questions to Ask Before You Marry by Clayton and Charie King, the questions are worth asking. Among them:

  • Are you willing to grow up?
  • Have you talked about money?
  • Are you compatible?
  • Are you ready to marry an entire family?
  • Are you ready to love?

Take the time to read through the post and then start asking the right questions. And no matter where you’re at in your relationship—just beginning to date or married for 40 years—the right question to ask this Valentine’s Day is:

Do you want to go see OLD FASHIONED this weekend?

The Old Fashioned Team

The love shoebox

In Old Fashioned, one of the most charming and creative ways that Amber brings a spark of spontaneity into Clay’s life is through an ordinary shoebox decorated by her hand.

It is carefully crafted.  It bears his name.  It calls him to choose.

Inside the box are little scraps of paper with inventive and unexpected date ideas for the two of them the experience with one another.  He’s only allowed to pick on at a time; and, no peeking is allowed.

I don’t want to give away much more because what would be the fun in that?

But with Valentine’s Day right around the corner… some of you might be looking for romantic ideas to share with the object of your affection.

Maybe you just met someone new and are looking for ways to make your time together intentional and create opportunities to really get to know one another at a deeper level…

Maybe you’ve been married for a while and are looking to spice things up…

Maybe you’re still single and dreaming of the future…

In whatever state you find yourself this Valentine’s Day, it might be fun to take some time and think outside the box… think of experiences and adventures you would really like to share with someone you love and write them down… and then maybe put those ideas inside a box!  A shoebox, no less!  And decorate that shoebox with words and images that have significant and personal meaning…

And who knows, one of the ideas inside could be… see Old Fashioned in the theatre on opening weekend!

Couldn’t resist :)…

Lots of love…

– Rik


Real life is messy


To be clear, the characters of Clay and Amber in Old Fashioned are not perfect.  They are flawed, broken people who are doing the best they can in stumbling toward a better way of loving each other… and a better understanding of God’s love for them.

Just like most of us.

It’s a tricky thing whenever you explore religious or spiritual themes in a film and especially so when you get anywhere near the label of being “faith-based” or something along those lines.

Suddenly, there is this odd expectation that the characters in your film are no longer allowed to be human or imperfect; but rather, they must be… examples.

That’s a lot of pressure.

And it’s also one of the reasons that so much criticism is often leveled at faith-based films for not being realistic or dealing with real-world issues in ways that are familiar to the audience.

Honestly, given some of the parameters of this niche… I’m not sure how you could accurately and truthfully make a “faith-based” film about the life of King David… or Abraham and Sarah… or countless other Biblical characters that were deeply, profoundly flawed.  I think there would be a great deal of pressure to tidy things up a bit… or leave certain elements out so as to not rock the boat too much… or, possibly, to craft a superior and more appropriate example.

And that would be a shame.  Because it is often through brokenness that God does some of His very best work.

Now, just so there is no confusion over what I’m saying here… I’m not saying you would have to be explicit in a film depicting the darker corners of the lives of those Biblical characters… or any characters in any film.  In the case of Clay and Amber in Old Fashioned, we’re able to explore some real, grown-up issues in a way that never gets explicit or crosses any lines.

Old Fashioned is rated PG-13 for “thematic material” which translates… real life is messy.  And probably a little boring for little kids!

Our film has no coarse language (at all), no explicit sex or violence, and nothing that exploits or degrades the actors.  But, it does deal honestly and openly with some relational mistakes and regrets and situations that are very much set in reality and are just as messy and complicated as those found in our own lives.

And still, God’s grace abounds.

Bottom line is, when it comes to film ratings, if you filmed someone at a table who just opened a Bible and starting reading out loud from the Old Testament… that would almost certainly be rated PG-13 for “thematic material.”  As it should.

In any event…

It’s more than a little important when making (or watching) a film that includes religious or spiritual themes that we remember and remain open to the indisputable fact that all of us—ALL of us—are still works in progress.

As Aunt Zella says in Old Fashioned

“None of us fully arrive this side of Heaven.”

There is a deep longing for authenticity and genuine innocence growing in our culture.  And the common ground for connecting and sharing the love of Christ with those that are searching is our brokenness… not our perfection (or rather, our imagined perfection).

I mention this because…

With all of the Fifty Shades of Grey hype and comparison with Old Fashioned (which has raised our profile beyond measure and for which I’m sincerely grateful), some might start thinking that we’re positioning ourselves as some kind of Pollyanna or perfect “example” of flawless, unblemished love.

We are not.

The truth is, both stories deal with very broken, wounded protagonists… two men that are isolated, damaged, and emotionally detached.

The difference is in how the protagonists pursue their healing.

It’s not about passing judgment on anyone or anything… it’s about a sincere desire to find paths toward healing and wholeness in a world that often outright ignores the sacred aspect and purpose for which love and romance was created.

And finding those paths, in life and movies (and marketing) can be and often is… messy.

Thank God for His mercy… and for providing us all with the one and only perfect “example” this world has ever seen…

– Rik


3 unlikely first date questions

As discussed here before, Clay Walsh—the peculiar character that runs the small, college-town antique shop from which Old Fashioned derives its title—has a lot of theories.

Here’s another:

“You know more after a job interview for delivering pizzas than you do after most dates.”

It’s one of the many, many reasons Clay has for isolating himself, not dating much at all in a long time, and not really even giving anyone a chance.  Not even the radiant Amber, who comes into town like a breeze and now rents the apartment above his shop.  And believe me, Amber is the kind of woman who deserves a chance!

Clay is a man of extremes, there’s no denying.  He is in love with his own ideas to a fault—to the point of almost missing what might be his last chance at true love.


He has at least the makings of a point here.

When you think of the general level of conversation that happens early on in the dating process, it can be a little shallow and not reveal all that much about who someone is or what’s important to him or her.

On the other hand, job interviews do indeed often go deeper than… “What kind of music do you like?” or “Did you get that new iPhone app yet?”

For example (from actual job applications):

1. What irritates you about other people and how do you deal with it?

2. What kind of situations do you find stressful?

3. What are the steps you follow to study a problem before making a decision?

Admittedly, not very romantic.

Even so, it’s hard to not agree that the answers to even just those three questions alone might reveal quite a bit about someone.  Possibly even more than staring into a brand new love interest’s eyes over a candlelit dinner might.

Physical chemistry (what most of early modern dating begins with) is great and exhilarating and fun, but ask anyone who’s been together for any time at all and they will tell you that “the magic” ebbs and flows.  Nothing wrong with it per se, but it’s not everything.

Look, I know that dating (or courting or… whatever) isn’t a job interview; and, being a couple should never feel like an employee/employer relationship…

That said, the idea of being a little more intentional early on in a relationship is probably not a bad one… even if Clay might take it a little too far.

Just for fun, you can get a whole list of job interview questions here.

Or, for a more balanced approach to getting to know someone, you can check out some of the questions and experiences shared by Ginger Kolbaba in the official companion book to our film/novel, The Old Fashioned Way.

One final thing from the job interview process that also isn’t a bad idea to add to the dating mix as well…

References.  Always get references :)…

– Rik


Unusual Ratings Behavior


We are a month away from Valentine’s Day and the February 13 release of both OLD FASHIONED and Fifty Shades of Grey in theaters across the country. OLD FASHIONED received a PG-13 rating for “some thematic material.” It’s a fair rating for this faith-based film; the themes in OLD FASHIONED deal with romance and relationships, topics that aren’t designed for kids and pre-teens.

Fifty Shades earned an R-rating. Some of the book’s fans were disappointed it didn’t get an NC-17 rating (the equivalent of the old X-rating). They felt anything less than that would mean the filmmakers had diminished the book’s graphic nature.

While most observers expected the R-rating, the explanation given by the MPAA was unique: “strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language.” The most interesting phrase? “Unusual behavior.”

In a story about the rating in USA Today, quotes industry executives, including Ethan Noble:

“He believes the MPAA used the term to describe the film’s sexual theme of dominance and submission, which is spelled out explicitly in the novel.

“‘Basically, it’s a way of letting parents know that it’s not your everyday sexual content,’ said Noble. ‘But you don’t put “submission and dominance” in the ratings description. (The MPAA is) rarely that specific, and parents that don’t know what it is might be scared off by the term.’”

Maybe it’s just us, but don’t you think “scaring off” parents in this instance might just be the best thing that could be done?

The Old Fashioned Team

Choosing Wisely


So this whole Fifty Shades of Grey thing is not that big of a deal, is it? After all, it’s just a movie for adults (based, of course, on the multi-million selling book). No harm, no foul, right?

Well, while the movie just earned itself an R-rating from the MPAA, some retailers seem to think the book belongs in the Teen and Young Readers section. Think about that.

As author Nancy French blogged:

“In my hometown of Columbia, Tennessee … customers started noticing that ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ was being sold as a book for ‘teens and young readers.’ In fact, it was right next to Shel Silverstein’s ‘Where the Sidewalk Ends.’ Thankfully, when a mom expressed her concerns to the store manager, he promptly moved the kinky, erotic adult best seller from the kids’ shelves. …

“We need to all work together to protect unsuspecting kids from picking up a book that could potentially damage their sexual development at a young age.”

OLD FASHIONED opens in theaters on Valentine’s Day weekend, just like Fifty Shades. In addition to a heartwarming love story, OLD FASHIONED will help you talk about God-honoring relationships with your tween or teen.

The choice this Valentine’s Day at the movie theater is yours … and your teen’s.

The Old Fashioned Team


The countdown to Valentine’s Day has begun…

“How did you do it?”

I’ve been getting asked that question a lot ever since the press broke wide open when we announced we were releasing Old Fashioned the same day as Fifty Shades of Grey.

How did a little indie movie like ours—with no stars or exploitative elements—get major news outlets like Time, Variety, and MTV (among many others) to pay attention at all?

In reality, the only big thing we did was realize an opportunity and choose to be patient enough to not rush our film into its theatrical distribution (not an easy thing to do once a film is completed).  And then, we just let folks know about it…

We could have never predicted the immediate and explosive response that followed.

More than anything though, what that avalanche of press did for us was boldly confirm what is actually the answer to the much bigger question I’ve been getting asked:

“Why did you do it?”

Why did we pick a fight and choose to go toe-to-toe with a massive cultural phenomenon that is almost certain to completely crush us?

And that answer boils down to this… we suspected that the release of Fifty Shades was a unique moment in time and we also (correctly, thankfully) had the hunch that maybe we weren’t alone in our thinking that—deep down—a lot of folks out there hadn’t filled up on the Fifty Shades Kool-Aid and were indeed looking for something of a different flavor in both their romantic lives as well as their entertainment.

In short, we had confidence that the longing for innocence that is captured so uniquely in Old Fashioned might appeal far beyond church walls and the faith-based niche alone.

We’re not naïve enough to believe that means absolutely everyone will dig our love story or agree with us or be happy that we are challenging something as popular as Fifty Shades.

And that’s okay.

Folks are free to choose as they may; but, if there’s anyone out there that has read or sees the film version of Fifty Shades… or anyone out there that has even lived it… and found the experience lacking or their own hearts still looking for something else… Old Fashioned is there as an option.  That is all…

As to whether or not we’ll get beaten down (pun intended) in public by Fifty Shades on Valentine’s Day weekend.  Well, the odds aren’t in our favor… they weren’t in David’s favor either, when he went up against Goliath.

At the end of the day, if even one single soul is moved toward greater healing and wholeness rather than greater physical objectification or emotional damage—by our film or by the cultural discussion that is already happening because of our refusal to bow our knee to Fifty Shades—we win.

And if we have to take a hit or two for that, so be it.

It’s a fight worth having…

It’s a cause worth fighting for…

It’s a risk worth taking…

– Rik


God, Relationships, and First Dates


Starting a Relationship on the Right Path

What do bowling, having a picnic, a trip to the aquarium, and going to church have in common? According to The Praying Woman website, these each make for a good first date. And why are first dates important? As their story says:

 “Experts in dating and relationships say that the first date will tell you a lot about a person. … A good first date allows for conversation but at the same time takes some of the focus off you so that neither of you are feeling under pressure and tense.”

Take a look at their list of 10 suggestions and let us know if one of them is your idea of a great first date. Or let us know if you have an even better suggestion. Whatever your idea of a great first date, this is great first-date advice to remember: “Don’t rush things. Take your time and get to know (your date) a little better.”

And remember: no matter how long you’ve been married, dating (or not dating), this Valentine’s Day weekend you have a great date opportunity: go see OLD FASHIONED when it opens in theaters!

The Old Fashioned Team