I am probably too medicated to have been able to cry at all the right parts in the indie film “Old Fashioned.”
Oh, don’t say that, they will say. Don’t cop to your being medicated. That doesn’t reflect well on Christianity. You should be able to pray away all your depression and anxiety….
I know I run a risk in reviewing a film that is Christian-themed. I might align myself with the more-righteous-than-thou who decry my meds. I might also align myself with the fanwagoners who try to pack the theaters when any faith-based film projects onto a silver screen.
The cool thing about Old Fashioned, which several of my colleagues helped to direct and produce, is that it is a film that is so counter-cultural, it is effectively without niche. It is not a Kirk Cameron morality tale. It is not a saccharine rom-com with Nicholas Sparks-caliber lines.
Old Fashioned is, on the surface, a sweet romantic tale about a born-again believer man who has grown a tad curmudgeonly in his set apart ways, and the attractive tenant who moves in above his antique store. The romance spools slowly and sweetly. As each character unpacks his and her personal histories, we see their fine lines and their friction.
But Old Fashioned is also about a larger love story. The film is an allegory for the Gospel, about how a perfect God came to offer a perfect love in a broken world. There are moments in Old Fashioned, whose lighting is perfect and whose soundwork is really strong, that crystallize perfectly the way divine grace is offered freely, and how we reject it and fail to offer it to each other in the form of forgiveness.
Old Fashioned is not a perfect movie. At times the script felt a little uneven to me. Sometimes scenes where body language and facial expressions were totally winning felt a little squandered because the dialogue bordered on the preachy. But it is a good film with solid performances and a wonderful message for the righteous, the proud, the hypocritical, dastardly, wicked and vain. And even the overly medicated.