Clay is a simple guy running a simple antique shop in rural Ohio. He’s not looking for love when he rents out the upstairs apartment to Amber, an itinerant wandering woman about his age. But when she becomes curious about Clay’s ‘theory’ regarding dating and marriage, Amber keeps coming up with reasons to talk to him, even though he will not allow them to be in the apartment alone together. Eventually, she convinces him to go on a date with her, but she has no idea what she is in store for. Beginning with a premarital counseling session, continuing by going over the premarital counseling workbook, and finishing with practice on feeding food to a toddler, their first date is less than typical. As the two begin to spend more time together, their checkered pasts are exposed as they both try to come to grips with who they are in Christ. Everything comes to a head when both Clay and Amber are forced to move beyond their sins of the past in Christ’s strength in order to embrace His new future for them.
Production Quality (2.5 points)
As a debuting film for Rik Swartzwelder and the Skoche Films team, Old-Fashioned is huge in a good way. The camera work is excellent, as is the editing. The film as an artistic undertone that is fueled by subtle camera shots, scenic overlays, and thinking scenes. The musical score is engaging. The only issue to raise here is that some scenes seem to last longer than they should. Overall, this is not a cheap production. It is simple yet profound.
Plot and Storyline Quality (2.5 points)
The plot is linear, straightforward, and somewhat predictable. However, Skoche did everything they could do with it. This is a very deep plot, rather than a wide and shallow plot. Swartzwelder and team maximized on every opportunity to make this usually typical plot structure as good as it could be. The dialogue is excellent and drives the plot, as it should. It also develops deep, believable, and realistic characters. There are no real plot twists and the only flaw of the plot is that it is fairly predictable. Otherwise, the plot is highly professional.
Acting Quality (3 points)
There are no high-profile actors in Old-Fashioned, yet they are obviously well-coached and well-trained. Absent from this movie is typical PureFlix acting, and it is replaced with professional talent that defies convention. There are few characters in the movie, which perhaps gave the directors the opportunity to develop each actor well. Fewer characters also keeps with the movie’s theme of having quality over quantity.
In summary, quality over quantity is the theme of the first box office installment of Skoche Films. Box Office Revolution was pleasantly surprised that PureFlix discovered the rare talent of Rik Swartzwelder and gave him the space to create without intrusion. His first movie is a rare gem in a desert of mediocrity. Old-Fashioned can be reasonably christened a modern-day Pride and Prejudice with a Christian worldview.
Final Rating: 8 out of 10 points