Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fireproof (Movie Review)

This is a great movie, and I encourage everyone to go see it in theaters. It's another excellent production by Sherwood Pictures, the producers of Facing the Giants and Flywheel.
The official Fireproof website. And the advertised site for helping you with your marriage.

And I didn't really think of this providing spoilers, but I guess it does. So be warned. Spoilers ahead. :-)

Pardon me for extensively quoting another, but I really cannot say it any better than she:

The classic Hollywood ending: Bride and groom kiss, minister pronounces them husband and wife, credits roll. The End implies "and they lived happily ever after."
That's the way it used to be.
In many of today's movies, such an ending might simply imply the end. As in "the end of the adventure."
And so we've had a rash of romantic comedies where the lovers ride off into the sunset, unmarried, happy and sexually satisfied. At least for now. Though their future together is murky, the implication is that the adventures will continue.
The old way left us wondering what happened once the marriage was underway; the new doesn't even bother to say, "I do." Fireproof (which appears in theaters on September 26) promises to break both molds — the happily ever after cliché as well as the notion that once the wedding is over, so is the fun. In a departure from the chick flick formula, Fireproof shows that after the wedding comes the real work of making a marriage strong enough to succeed.
Fireproof tells a gripping tale about fire captain Caleb Holt (Kirk Cameron) in a life-saving job who is hero to everyone but his wife, Catherine (Erin Bethea). On the job, he lives the fireman's motto — never leave your partner behind.
At home, it's a different story. Catherine, feeling the neglect of his distraction — fueled primarily by his online porn habit and desire to save enough overtime pay to buy a big, fast boat — wants a divorce. She's done, both emotionally and practically — she's in the beginning stages of having an affair with a handsome young doctor at the hospital where she works. Though letting his marriage fail would be a blow to his pride, Caleb's not sure it's worth fighting for.
Enter his parents. Especially his dad. This is where things veer from what you'd expect from the movies. Rather than agreeing with Caleb that the marriage is beyond redemption, he reveals that some years ago his own marriage to Caleb's mom had nearly collapsed. Speaking from painful experience, he challenges Caleb not to proceed with the divorce for just 40 days and promises to send him something in the mail. When it arrives, the "love dare" begins.

When asked if the Christian message would alienate non-Christians from the movie and it's message, the star Kirk Cameron replied:

The movie's for anyone, whether you have faith in God or not. This is a movie about love, trust, hope, healing. Plus, it's just a great movie. You're going to laugh and cry. It's a very masculine movie, with the firefighters, but it's also a chick flick. And the main character is not some religious guy.

I think that's a pretty fair assessment. (For the rest of the interview with Kirk go here.) The movie is definitely realistic and does not have that artificial Hollywood feel to it, while still being well done - which is definitely refreshing. There really isn't a "heart-string" that isn't played by this movie, and played well. And it's definitely not a cut and dry and predictable. I look forward to owning it when it releases on DVD and seeing what else Sherwood Pictures produces!

2 out of 5 stars.

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Stephanie said...

I love this movie! :)

Darlene said...

I really enjoyed FIREPROOF--and highly recommend it to everyone. Go see it and take along family and/or friends.

One note, Sophie--you might want to let folks know that the review you posted contains "spoilers".

Sophie said...

Thanks for the comments, and sorry about the spoilers...it has been amended :-)


Darlene said...

That's fine. It wasn't a problem for me since I had already seen the movie. I was just thinking of others. Glad you fixed it!

Anonymous said...

A lot of people are talking about how great this movie is. I was NOT impressed. A "Christian" movie that's for Christians that doesn't challenge. Now, that hasn't been done before? I don't think it's quality should be judged by the number of people that were tricked into seeing it. It's an embarrassing testimony to our faith in Christ. Christians should be doing things like this better than the rest of the world, not cheesier.

Sophie said...

Anonymous - I was very challenged by this movie, as were dozens of other individuals and couples I talked with about this movie. And it is for humans, one does not have to be a Christian to enjoy this movie. I am sorry that you were not impressed, admittedly the acting in parts is not professionally, but when you have non-professionals volunteering their time one can hardly expect it to be perfect. I personally thought that in some parts it was better than what I typically see coming from Hollywood, and it is certainly more wholesome than what the world usually releases!

But this truly is a matter of preference and opinion. Thank you for your input!