See the Christian film that wants to be the anti-'Fifty Shades of Grey'

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Thursday, February 12, 2015
"Fifty Shades of Grey" too sanctimonious for you? Then check out the film that is attempting to be the Christian "Fifty Shades of Grey."
Republic Records / AP

"Fifty Shades of Grey" too blasphemous for you? Then you may want to check out "Old Fashioned" instead.

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Billing itself as almost an anti-"Fifty Shades of Grey," "Old Fashioned" is an upcoming film about a wholesome Christian romance that blooms between an isolated man and a Midwestern woman. But while "Fifty Shades" is known for its steamy and controversial sex scenes, "Old Fashioned" doesn't feature any hanky panky, and promises in its trailer "a love story that most only dream of."

Rik Swartzwelder, who directed and stars in "Old Fashioned," began writing the film in 2000, over a decade before the first "Fifty Shades" novel was published. But after finishing the film in 2013, Swartwelder's marketing team realized they could boost "Old Fashioned's" popularity by billing it as the David to the Goliath of "Fifty Shades of Grey."

"The intriguing thing was how similar the stories are: both of the male characters have a past," Swartzwelder told The Telegraph. "There's abuse in the past, they are isolated individuals, they are controlling, like to make rules. But while they are similar in their characters, they're different in how they are trying to mend their brokenness."

But while the trailer and marketing has certainly portrayed "Old Fashioned" as a Christian "Fifty Shades of Grey," Swartwelder hopes audiences will make their own conclusions.

"I'd say it's a love story. I'd say come and see the film and draw your own conclusions," Swartzwelder told The Telegraph. "That's not why I made Old Fashioned but I can't escape the fact that's how we've embraced the marketing. It's similar in the brokenness but it takes a different way out." Both films will be released on Valentine's Day.