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Kirk Cameron (Left Behind) stars as Caleb Holt, a heroic fire captain who values dedication and service to others above all else. But the most important partnership in his life, his marriage, is about to go up in smoke. This gripping story follows one man's desire to transform his life and marriage through the healing power of faith and fully embrace the fireman's code: Never Leave Your Partner Behind.
A feel-good drama, Fireproof has a strong agenda: stay married, lead an honest life, and let your faith in a higher power help guide you. A still boyish-looking Kirk Cameron (Growing Pains) stars as Caleb Holt, a mercurial-tempered firefighter whose marriage is on the rocks. He clearly enjoys his status as a hero, but it comes at the expense of his marriage. His wife Catherine (Erin Bethea) is tired of the distance and wants him to make more of an effort at home, rather than surf porn on the Internet and hoard his earnings toward his dream fishing boat instead of helping out her disabled mother. Faced with impending divorce, Caleb's dad challenges him to follow the "40-day love dare," in which each task (cook her dinner, say nothing negative, etc.) is meant for him to better understand love and commitment and try and win his wife back. The third film by brothers Alex and Stephen Kendrick, Fireproof is the siblings' most polished feature. Cameron does a fine job of making Caleb real and believable, even when we're not always liking him. Though saddled at times with maudlin lines, Cameron adds emotion and range to his role. There is a not so subtle theme that the Holts--who at the beginning of the film are agnostic--needed religion to save their marriage. Clearly, Fireproof believes in its agenda and was made with the Christian audience in mind. Whether secular audiences will fall under its spell as well is debatable. But no one should walk away from the film offended. --Jae-Ha Kim
Stills from Fireproof (click for larger image)
Deleted Scenes with Director's Introduction
Fireproof: Behind the Scenes
Wayne on Wayne
Fireproof in 60 with Director's Introduction
Love Dare Promo
Resource Film Clips
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My husband and I really did enjoy this film. In today's disposable world, this movie has a clear message of hope, God's direction, and fighting to keep your marriage alive and well. In today's world everything is of the physical and not so much about God's principles. This movie delves into love, the meanings of marriage, virtue, principles, love, honor and even temptation. This movie gives clear direction about patience, and loving one another. It is a Christian movie which I don't mind and rather enjoy. The film isn't one of the expensive Hollywood thrillers, but instead depends more on acting and the story line of the movie. I thought Kirk Cameron did a fine job of expressing his anger and resentment of his wife, and also his strength in not letting go of his wife too easily, once he realized the mistakes he had made. Once he's had a change of heart, His love for her is clear and resolute and good eventually wins her over in this film. The female lead did a good job of acting as a cold, but hurt and had enough wife. Her eventual softening and happiness was beautiful. My husband and I both teared up and had an emotional reaction to the film. We truly enjoyed it.
Most of the positive reviews focus on the message. Most of the negative reviews focus on the technical quality of the movie, and/or the reviewers' feelings about Christianity. Accordingly, I'd like to chime in on these three topics.
Technical Quality: Although I did like the movie, I have to admit the negative reviewers have a point here. The cinematography and special effects are more in line with what you'd expect on a TV show than a feature film. There's nothing glaringly awful, but the viewer is definitely aware this film was not financed like a big-budget Hollywood movie.
The acting performances are about the same. Cameron puts in a solid professional job, but nothing that's going to go down in history as one of the great performances of all time. The rest of the cast is pretty spotty, and most of them have at least one line or one scene that comes off a bit lame. Again, not so bad as to be unwatchable, but definitely below average for feature films.
The Message: This is why people like the film, and why I liked it too. There are actually two messages here - one about marriage and one about Christianity. Most of the negative reviewers can't seem to separate these two issues, which is understandable since there' entwined. Let me take a stab at dealing with them separately.
The marriage-related messages portrayed in this movie are:
1) Married people who are predominantly focused on their own feelings and their own needs are not likely to succeed. Marriage takes a lot of work, and a predominantly selfless attitude.
2) In order for a marriage to work, both partners have to be willing to admit that they are flawed human beings, that they make mistakes, that they are sometimes selfish and hurtful, and that they sometimes have to ask humbly to be forgiven. Christians certainly recognize this message, but it applies equally to non-Christians (except for those who are perfect, many of whom apparently have written reviews of Fireproof here).
3) There will be conflicts and hard times during a marriage, and when this happens, both partners must be committed to making it work and ensuring the survival of the marriage - even when this seems like a lot of work and doesn't seem to be rewarded or recognized.
4) For a marriage to really work, both partners will have to continually grow and improve themselves - often in ways that are not comfortable and entail sacrifices.
Anyone who has actually been married for a while and worked through problems will recognize the above themes as true to life - and, most emphatically, true to life in a way that Hollywood movie portrayals of love and romance are definitely not true to life.
I believe that most of the people who liked this movie - certainly me and my wife - are resonating with FINALLY a movie that seems to understand what enduring marriage and love that grows over the years are really all about. Most movies portray love as a state of blissful happiness - which it sometimes is - but miss the larger picture of love as an ongoing project that two people work on, working hard and selflessly, for many years.
The Christian Message: People who are just flat-out offended by Christianity, or those who have past traumas, grudges, or anger toward Christians, simply are not going to like this movie. If you're in this group, just don't go.
The people in this movie express and embody their work on their marriage and their personal growth through their faith. If you're a Christian, you will very likely identify with this and see it is a positive.
If you're a non-Christian who has a generally benign, friendly attitude toward Christianity and Christians, this movie might be worth a try for you. The challenges these folks face and the things they have to overcome are not limited only to Christians, and may be familiar to you. They do frame their solutions and their personal work in Christian terms. If you're interested in Christianity, or how Christains frame and work through personal problems, then this movie might have some interest for you.