The highly-publicized film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, the most romantic/vomit-inducing story of the modern age (depending on who you’re asking), was released to theaters earlier this week, fittingly on the most romantic/vomit-inducing day of the year (depending on who you’re asking), Valentine’s Day.
Now, if you have been on the Internet in the past few years or so, we’ll assume you’ve heard some of the problems people have with Fifty Shades of Grey. In case you haven’t, though, we’ll CliffNotes it for you: Fifty Shades of Grey takes an abusive, controlling relationship and presents it as something normal and desirable. The author regularly denies any similarities between her book’s romance and real-life abuse, and uses fake concerns over BDSM awareness and female empowerment to silence actual victims of said abuse.
In case it wasn’t clear, readme doesn’t like this book much. It is of course, okay if you do–nothing wrong with a little bit of fantasy–but it is important that we do our best to recognize that in real life Christian Grey would be such a rapist.
So thank god we have Christian filmmakers to provide us with wholesome alternatives! From the same sort of people that gave us Persecuted, the action thriller that explained how American Christians were the most persecuted group of the modern day, we have Old-Fashioned, the romantic drama about two Christians trying to do the impossible: have a heterosexual, religiously-validated relationship in today’s America.
Old-Fashioned is, of course, completely different from Fifty Shades of Grey, which we know because the trailers spend so much time telling us so. Unlike Fifty Shades, which was about a woman whose male love interest introduces her to a model of romance she is not comfortable with but eventually acquiesces to, Old-Fashioned is about a woman whose male love interest introduces her to a model of romance she is not comfortable with but eventually acquiesces to. Totally different, and way more respectful to women.
The film stars Clay Walsh (sort of the Christian ‘Christian Grey’), a reformed frat boy who gave up his life of “reckless carousing” for a more old-fashioned lifestyle. Like all relatable leads, he has a dynamic and exciting job working at an antique store and building rocking chairs. Then he meets Amber Hewson, a not-at-all stereotypical free-spirited dream girl, who falls for his traditional romantic views and Christian charm.
And, seriously, you guys, Walsh is, like, so Christian. That’s his thing. That and rocking horses. And being sensitive. He’s so sensitive and demure that he makes Hewson leave her apartment when she asks him in to fix something, on the grounds that he is saving himself for marriage. Because there’s nothing women find more respectful than a man kicking them out of their own goddamn house because he knows that if he’s ever alone with them for any reason, he will have sex with them. How noble and not at all rapey.
So get down to theaters now, ladies! If you want a movie with all the condescending misogyny of Fifty Shades without any of that yucky premarital sex, this is the movie for you! Sure, it has terrible acting and bland dialogue, but so does Fifty Shades. Either way, you’re not missing out.