I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fireproof (2008)

Caleb (Kirk Cameron), a fire department captain, and his wife Catherine, (Erin Bethea) have been married seven years. There is trouble in paradise, as all they seem to do is snipe at each other. After a particularly heated argument, Catherine announces that she wants out. Caleb complains about her to his co-workers at the firehouse, and to his dad (Harris Malcolm). Caleb's dad suggests that before taking the divorce route, his son should do a "Love Dare" exercise for 40 days. Caleb's dad says this is important if he want to save the marriage.

Caleb follows the exercises, but Catherine doesn't buy his attempts at being nice. Dr. Gavin Keller (Perry Revell) has taken a liking to Catherine, and she's responding. Caleb keeps threatening to give up, but his dad and a Christian buddy at the firehouse exhort him to keep trying.

This film was made by a church, and the Christian message is heavy. I'm not saying the message -- marriages are worth saving and should be saved -- is wrong. But the way it is packaged is so preachy that I found myself tuning out a lot while watching. The script is poorly written. There are three characters -- the dad, one of Caleb's buddies at the firehouse, and a nurse at the hospital where Catherine works -- who spend their time preaching whenever they are on screen. I understand having one character serve that purpose, but three?

The acting was not great, even out of Kirk Cameron who has experience in that. I didn't have much sympathy for the spoiled brat husband or his wimp of a wife. The guy who served as comic relief (Stephen Dervan) was not funny, but annoying. There was a character who was an atheist, but I thought he was just saying stuff to get a rise out of the other characters. A deleted scene (on the DVD extras) explained his stance on God better; it probably should have been included in the final film.

Production values were better than I've seen in a lot of Christian movies, but they could have been a lot better. I understand that the church that made this film has done a few others. I'm probably not going to rush to see those.

Kirk Cameron was a cast member on TV's "Growing Pains" (1985-1992). Some of the other cast members are members of the church that made the film.

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