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'Old Fashioned' Love Story Earns Rave Reviews, Massive Box Office In Success Opening Weekend

( [email protected] ) Feb 17, 2015 11:38 AM EST

Old Fashioned
'Old Fashioned' stars writer/director/producer Rik Swartzwelder and Elizabeth Ann Roberts. (Photo: OldFashionedMovie)

Old Fashioned, an independent film about Godly romance created by the makers of "God's Not Dead," has garnered massive box office success and received rave reviews from critics in its opening weekend.

The film, which hit theaters Valentine's Day weekend, portrays a former frat boy turned Christian business owner (played by the film's writer/director/producer Rik Swartzwelder) and a free-spirited young woman (Criminal Mind's Elizabeth Ann Roberts) who begins to understand the value of his ideals as she seeks the Lord. As the two embark on a 21st century attempt at courtship, God brings healing to both of their pasts.

Despite opening the same day as the massively successful sex-and-bondage film, Fifty Shades of Grey, Old Fashioned exceeded box office expectations, holding the new record as best-performing Christian film and garnering over $1 million in just 224 theaters, according the film's press release.

Additionally, the film has earned an impressive 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, and garnered rave reviews from critics, Christian and non-Christian alike.

Writes Rick Bentley of the Fresno Bee, "Endearing . . . the story of a man and a woman falling in love with respect, honesty and a spiritual element that never gets too preachy . . . the kind of production that makes couples want to hold hands in the theater."

Adds Kam Williams of Baret News, "[The movie is] a refreshingly-principled parable proving that a picture championing chastity can be every bit as entertaining and enjoyable as one promoting promiscuity."

"It is a movie with Christian principles, yet it is not at all "preachy." . . . so refreshing to see a quality movie about old fashioned values," reads a review on Rotten Tomatoes.

Movie critic Dewayne Hamby of Charisma News also applauds the film, writing, "If Old Fashioned is to be judged simply as a movie alone, it would pass the test. It is well-produced, well-acted and well-written. However, as a player in a cultural standoff... it serves a much bigger purpose-to show the world it doesn't have to follow the road of self-gratification...[it will] send shock waves through the culture. It's definitely a movie-and a cause-worth getting behind."

The success of the film is likely due to its simple yet refreshing message: chivalry is not dead, and real love is worth waiting for.

"[Old Fashioned is] funny and engaging, and very honest about how hard it is to really live out a godly standard when it comes to romance," explained Swartzwelder, adding that he wrote the script while reflecting on the single men and women around him who were trying to figure out how to honor the Lord in their dating relationships.

 "None of us had ever seen a film that reflected our dating lives - everything was almost void of a spiritual connection, and there was an over-emphasis on a physical connection...Trying to honor God with your dating life isn't just about not having sex, it's about not playing games with each other's hearts. It's about not leading other people on. It's about living intentionally ... taking this idea of romance seriously."

To watch the trailer for Old Fashioned or to find a showing near you, visit the film's website.