At a time when the majority of marriages end in divorce, the makers of the popular “Facing the Giants” movie are bringing to select theatres a film that has already inspired numerous couples to strengthen, and, in many cases, to rescue, their marriages.
According to LifeSiteNews.com, “Fireproof” will open today (September 26, 2008) in 850 theaters across America. “Fireproof” is the inspiring story of a devoted and heroic firefighter whose marriage is on the brink of eruption, and who, in response to a challenge from his father, begrudingly sets out on a 40 day quest to salvage his relationship with his wife.
The film stars Kirk Cameron, the one time teen-star of the popular TV show “Growing Pains,” who has for many years devoted himself to using his talents for wholesome projects.
The film has already been met with widespread acclaim, particularly amongst the evangelical base that forms the film’s target audience. However, “Fireproof” has also been embraced many of no faith, who have responded to the movie’s message about the power of selfless love and its practical, realistic portrayal of how to go about rescuing a marriage that seems beyond the point of no return.
In particular, many have commented on the movie’s website that “Fireproof’s” portrayal of the fragmentation of a marriage is remarkably similar to their own painful experiences and that they immediately connected with the predicament of Capt. Caleb Holt and his wife Catherine.
The film is notable for its impressive quality of filmmaking. Writing recently in The Tablet, the weekly newspaper of the diocese of Brooklyn, Fr. Robert Lauder related, “I did not feel like viewing the film because I suspected it would be a poor film, made with the best of intentions, but amateurish and overly sentimental.”
But, he said, he was surprised to find that “‘Fireproof’ is an exceptionally good film. The story is good, the acting is good, the direction is good, the music is good and the editing is exceptionally good.”
Fireproof centers around an intriguing concept: the notion that by pursuing a simple, 40 day program, in which a spouse daily puts into practice a new marriage “dare”, a marriage can be completely turned around. Much like the wild success of the pro-life 40-Days-for-Life campaign, the success of the “dare” method is its emphasis on a practical, realistic and relatively short program.
Besides the film itself, the producers have set up an website with resources to help couples get their marriages back on track. Most notably, they have published the book “The Love Dare,” that in the movie outlines the 40 day program by which the protagonist tries to give his marriage one last go.
In the end “Fireproof” is a story of the need for grace. Capt. Caleb Holt’s attempts to recapture the heart of his wife, Catherine, are initially rebuffed. But then Holt’s father tells the young man “you cannot give what you don’t got” and shows him that in order to love with the selflessness that is requisite in a marriage, a relationship with Love Itself – God – is indispensable. With God’s grace one learns to love, even when love is not returned. In this way Holt learns to anchor his own life in love, through prayer, which allows him to provide his wife with the love that she needed from him.
Those who are interested in the film are being encouraged to attend during its opening weekend, which could help to put “Fireproof” in even more theatres in coming weeks.