I have to admit, there was a bit of apprehension on my part as I entered the theater for an advanced showing of Fireproof. As a writer myself, I’m well aware that some Christian movies miss the mark when it comes to big screen entertainment. Sure they deliver a good message, but are they able to evoke the suspense, laughter, and tears found in those “big budget”, “A-lister” flicks rolling out of Hollywood? In the case of Sherwood Pictures and Provident Films production of Fireproof the answer is--oh yah.
Not only did I find myself laughing out loud in one scene, and then weeping into my buttered popcorn the next, but after it was over I wanted to see the movie again. Lucky for me the September 26 release date is fast approaching.
Firefighter Captain Caleb Holt, played by veteran actor Kirk Cameron, is in a bad way. His marriage to Catherine, played by Erin Bethea, is on a fast track to divorce. But Caleb’s Dad asks his son to commit to a 40-day experiment before making any final decision to end his marriage. His dad sends him a book titled, “The Love Dare” offering daily exercises to save his marriage. After several failed, and might I add funny, attempts to live out the directives in the book, Caleb eventually comes to terms with his spiritual emptiness and finds true healing.
I think the reason this movie works is due to its authenticity. It peels away the mask many couples wear when stepping out into the public eye, whether it be at a restaurant or within the walls of the local church. It’s a gritty peek into a real relationship with its frustrations and seemingly hopeless situations.
And in case you’re thinking this movie is one big heavy trip; don’t worry. The fire station antics had me laughing out loud. I was especially impressed by the comedic talent of Stephen Dervan. I’ll never look at a bottle of hot sauce the same way again.
Caleb’s trusted friend Michael (Ken Bevel) kept the movie on track, displaying the kind of transparency necessary for any successful relationship. If he’s a pastor in real life, I want to be in his congregation this Sunday
As a parent, I’d encourage taking pre-teens to the movie, but younger children may find the mature subject matter difficult to follow. This movie skillfully conveys the idea that marriage is about work, self-sacrifice, and servanthood. A message sadly missing from our current culture.
Overall this movie presents a perfect reason to head to the theater. Hold your head high, invite all of your friends, and cast your voting movie ticket. In a day when marriages are crumbling, and ethics quickly tossed aside, Fireproof inspires theatergoers to “never leave your partner behind.” I think that’s especially true when your partner is a movie company that’s listening to your values, and doing it well.
Post Movie Talking Points
What does true love look like?
Here’s an example of what real love looks like. (Romans 5:8)
When is it time to stop forgiving someone?
Jesus’ answer to that question may surprise you. (Matthew 18:21-22)
Who should I marry?
God warns against bad choices. (2 Corinthians 6:14)
Who invented marriage anyway?
The author of marriage is found in (Matthew 19:4-6)
What if I want to quit?
God will give us the courage to persevere. (Hebrews 10:36)