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Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Christian Version of 50 Shades of Grey Doesn't Sound Very Fun

Posted by on Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Dave McNary at Variety says:

Freestyle Releasing, which generated strong grosses for “God’s Not Dead,” is offering up a challenge next Valentine’s Day to “Fifty Shades of Grey” with faith-based romance “Old Fashioned.”

“I wanted to tell a love story that takes the idea of Godly romance seriously,” said Rik Swartzwelder, writer-director and lead actor. “A story that, without apology, explores the possibility of a higher standard in relationships; yet, is also fully aware of just how fragile we all are and doesn’t seek to heap guilt upon those of us that have made mistakes.”

Swartzwelder plays a former frat boy and Elizabeth Ann Roberts will portray a free-spirited woman. The tagline is “Chivalry makes a comeback.”

The next few months will be packed with all sorts of discussions about S&M in relationships—we've already gotten one press release from a morality-obsessed organization trying to boycott the 50 Shades movie—but I think it's fair to say that Old Fashioned is not going to do 50 Shades-style numbers on Valentine's Day weekend. Sex outsells God every time.

That said, I kind of love the idea of Christians trying to launch their own Hollywood, with a mockbuster to counter every blockbuster on opening weekend. Imagine the worst movies of this summer—Trans4mers, Hercules, Sex Tape—only written from a Christian perspective and produced on a shoestring budget. The cheese level would be even higher than movies produced by The Asylum. Hell, I'd rather watch the Christian Sex Tape than the real Sex Tape. The Christian Sex Tape might make me laugh once or twice.

 

Comments (18) RSS

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fletc3her 1
The problem with "christian movies" is the same as that with "christian rock". Plenty of moviemakers and musicians are christian and already make art from a christian perspective.

Bands like Arcade Fire, James, Editors, and even Depeche Mode have songs written from the perspective of a religious person. But the songs aren't glowingly "Jesus loves me". Rather they explore a more complex relationship between the artists and their religion.

Similarly there are countless movies which explore character's religious beliefs. Countless romances where the religion of the characters plays a role. Countless movies where characters are portrayed attending church without the movie itself being evangelizing.
Posted by fletc3her on July 31, 2014 at 1:13 PM · Report this
6 2
Did the Blue Angels really just fly across my screen while I was reading this? Well, it made me stop reading and write this comment instead.
Posted by 6 on July 31, 2014 at 1:28 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 3
After watching the trailer I thought 50 Shades of Grey WAS the Christian version. It sure was as boring as Christianity.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on July 31, 2014 at 1:33 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 4
BTW, if you are the writer/director AND have to star in your own movie, that's the first sign the movie is going to be shit.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on July 31, 2014 at 1:34 PM · Report this
5
So is the "free-spirited woman" character supposed to be the Christian equivalent of a manic pixie dream girl?
Posted by Joe Glibmoron on July 31, 2014 at 1:36 PM · Report this
briantrice 6
50 Shades of Grey already is the misogynistic/abusive vision of kink that right-wingers prefer. But you can count on God-botherers to insist that this is not enough because of naughtiness.

See also: http://www.christiandomesticdiscipline.c…
Posted by briantrice http://www.briantrice.com on July 31, 2014 at 1:43 PM · Report this
7
I don't know the plot, but I think I know where this is going. "Free-spirited young woman" is strong, independent, modern, doesn't melt for guys and knows what she wants out of life, as well as out of her men. "Former frat boy" is a born again Bible thumper who thinks that men are the natural heads of the household and women are the weaker vessels, silly emotional things that need to be protected and taught in the ways of a Jesus. Boy meets girl and boy falls for girl, but girl doesn't have the time of day. She's free-spirited, see. But former frat boy knows the proper, Christian way of manhandling women and bulldozing their resistance - open doors for them, send them flowers, force them into involuntary one-on-one religious indoctrination ("witnessing"), slut-shaming them ("accountability"), generally tearing down their self worth, convincing them that the only way they will find lasting love (which entails marriage; duh), is by covering her hair, arms, legs, and shoulders, saying, "Yes, dear," and either quietly hanging out in the kitchen or having babies. No free spirits for you!

Bleh. Spare me the sharia.
Posted by So why is church attendance declining? on July 31, 2014 at 1:45 PM · Report this
IndicaDogwalk 8
The Christian version of ANYTHING doesn't sound very fun.
Posted by IndicaDogwalk on July 31, 2014 at 1:51 PM · Report this
9
@7 My much-shorter version is this:

Promo states: "Swartzwelder plays a former frat boy and Elizabeth Ann Roberts will portray a free-spirited woman."

Translation: Reformed stud subdues slut.
Posted by Clayton on July 31, 2014 at 1:53 PM · Report this
10
Old Fashioned?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SQWiaZm…
Posted by Balzac on July 31, 2014 at 2:00 PM · Report this
11
Since conservative Christians are so rabid about husbands subjugating their wives, I didn't think another version was necessary. Business as usual!
Posted by bryanrust on July 31, 2014 at 2:09 PM · Report this
treacle 12
But Christians already have several options for Christian BDSM and BDSM in a Christian Marriage (aka "Bondage in Christ"... hawt! ), plus what @6 linked to.

Anyway, if you are Xtian and against this kind of 'Shades of Grey' or actual kinky fun stuff.. why do you want to sidle up to it and make a 'vanilla'/Godly version, only bringing more attention to it? o_O

It's like the porn censors who get to look at hardcore porn all day long... In denial yet so, so fascinated by it all... :>).. .

The cognitive dissonance is absolutely fascinating to observe.
Posted by treacle on July 31, 2014 at 3:03 PM · Report this
Akbar Fazil 13
@4 Mel Brooks, Jon Favreau, Woody Allen, Charlie Chaplin etc would like to have a chat with you about that statement.
Posted by Akbar Fazil on July 31, 2014 at 3:21 PM · Report this
14
The Christian version just makes the control freak sadist into a priest. So then everything's fine.
Posted by Pope Buck I on July 31, 2014 at 3:56 PM · Report this
15
I'm going to have to rephrase that Hank Hill comment here. "You're not making movies better. You're making Christianity worse!"
Posted by Mindymoo on July 31, 2014 at 4:04 PM · Report this
NotSean 16
@1 I strongly agree.

I've felt that any expression of the human condition can be said to be Christian, if we accept that Chistians are human.

So I throw away the term 'Christian Music' or 'Christian Art';

I prefer the term 'Praise Music', when referring to 'I love Jesus'-themed songs.

Praise Film, about boy-meets-girl, sounds pretty dull. Maybe it'll have a lot of CGI lasers? Lasers are always cool.

Posted by NotSean on July 31, 2014 at 6:11 PM · Report this
Knat 17
Well, he's apparently living by his own message, considering they've cast one of their major roles with the January 1958 Playmate of the Month that got Hugh Hefner arrested for making pornography starring a 16-year-old.

Oh, wait. We're talking about a much less interesting Elizabeth Ann Roberts, aren't we? I guess he doesn't get that credit.
Posted by Knat on July 31, 2014 at 7:07 PM · Report this
18
@13 You forgot Orson Welles
Posted by Jared Bascomb on August 1, 2014 at 8:13 AM · Report this

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