A novelization of the motion picture by RENE GUTTERIDGE--based on the screenplay by RIK SWARTZWELDER
Former frat boy Clay Walsh has given up his reckless lifestyle and settled down to run an antique shop in a small Midwestern college town. Determined to put his partying ways behind him, Clay has become notorious for his lofty and outdated theories on love and romance. But when Amber Hewson, a free-spirited woman with a gypsy soul, rents the apartment above his shop, Clay can't help being attracted to her spontaneous and passionate embrace of life. New to the area, Amber finds herself surprisingly drawn to Clay and his noble ideas, but her own fears and deep wounds are difficult to overcome. Can they move beyond their differences and their pasts to attempt an "old-fashioned" courtship?
MY REVIEW: "Old Fashioned" is author Rene Gutteridge's novelization of a screenplay by writer/director/producer/actor Rik Swartzwelder. While I found the heroine and some of the other female characters to be well-written and interesting, the male characters behaved with varying levels of appalling chauvinism. The least appealing male is the "hero", Clay Walsh. After a wildly misspent youth, in which he made a living by exploiting the regrettable behavior of foolish young women, Clay leaves his raunchy party lifestyle behind. Settling in to operate the antique shop, "Old Fashioned", left in his care by an elderly relative, Clay begins a major personal overhaul. After almost a decade of observing his own now quite strict personal code, Clay considers himself as old fashioned as the antique shop. His self-limited life is in for quite a shaking-up when newcomer Amber Hewson arrives in the small college town in Ohio--a town she chose because that's where her can ran out of gas. Amber, in her own blithe way, informs Clay that she is his new tenant for the apartment above the antique shop. Finding work in a floral shop, Amber becomes friends with the owner and her assistant. Amber is attracted to Clay, and she detects his own reciprocal interest, but she is puzzled by his self-restricted behavior. Once Clay decides that Amber may just be worthy of his attentions, he informs her: "My Rules", "My Way". The more I read about Clay, the less I wanted to read about him. The initial charm of his enjoyment of restoring antiques and learning their history becomes more and more diminished by his strange personality quirks. I do not consider his character to be "old fashioned"--a descriptive term which I find to have great value. Instead, I find him to be obstinate, occlusive, and offensive. The character of Amber is written with warmth and depth, and her imperfections only add to her appeal. As a person with a painful emotional past, she deserves a man who will truly respect her, love her, and cherish her. Clay's personal redemption, life-changing moments, and desire to live a godly, faith-filled life are just not fully believable. This was a very difficult review to write. There are good elements in the book--the standout female characters and flashes of genuine humor made me read the book through to the end. Other readers will form their own impressions, and they may not look at the story line through my viewpoint.
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