Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fireproof: the Movie

Generally, I am not a big fan of "Christian films." And I know that Evangelicals are supposed to go see any movie with Kirk Cameron in it. :-) But I thought "Left Behind" was awful. That said, may I offer a word of praise for this film?

Ken and I saw an advanced showing. I'll be frank--I was prepared to hate it.

I liked it.

Is it great movie making? No. Is it Oscar worthy? No. Is it going to change marriage in America? No. It has some flaws. It is a bit too obvious, a bit too "pat." The acress who plays Kayla is--well--pretty amatuer. Kirk did much better.

But, on the plus side, I was surprised by the humor in the movie. There are some funny moments, and some funny characters. Yes, it is a movie with a message, but it is not overly preachy. There is no sermon, and no church segment, and no Billy Graham crusade. (NO, I'm not dissing Billy Graham.) I was waiting for the conversation where the firefighter character, Caleb, is told to offer "servant leadership" and (HOORAY!) that moment did not happen. He is offered a challenge, and perhaps some will find it simplistic. But I can't find fault with spending 40 days to focus on what real love is. I liked the juxtaposition of the hero fire fighter in public with the jerk husband at home. How like all of us, to one degree or another. And no one told the wife to just submit more.

This movie will not transform an abusive relationship into a healthy one. It will not save every marriage. But it will help some people to rethink what marriage is about, to examine themselves, to seek more loving ways to relate, and to invite God into the equation.

I saw Kirk Cameron on The Today Show this morning, and I am pleased to say that he handled the interview well, came across as warm and "normal" and approachable, did not preach or condemn or moralize. I was proud of him.



I'm encouraging my church folks to go see the movie as a sort of adjunct message to my marriage series. I applaud the filmakers--a church group! for not just complaining but doing something about it. Their efforts are commendable and worthy of praise. I hope that as they keep making films they will get better and better.

I'm interested in other's opinions. It opens this Friday, September 26.

9 comments:

ProclaimingSoftly (PSanafter-thought) said...

I don't go to movies much, but I'll try to see this one. When the kids were little, I was appalled at some of the videos that were supposedly for "family" entertainment, so I subscribed to a christian video service that sent videos to our home. They were so bad that I canceled after about three of them.

I don't see why something should be promoted just because it is "christian" if it isn't well done. Likewise, I don't understand why there isn't more of a "voice" for people with values that line up with christian morals in the movie industry. I don't believe that everybody in Hollywood feels good about all those slimy movies. OK, there's another aspect: some of the right wing christian types seem to be OK with movie violence, but not with movies with sexy stuff. A little disconnect there.

Singing Owl said...

I'm with you 100%.

the reverend mommy said...

Thanks for the review. i am/was prepared to hate it too. Maybe it will be better than I expect...

Kris said...

Well I walked out of the last one they did (Giants something or other...) because the acting was SO BAD that I just couldn't stand it. So I was prepared to hate this one or pretty much just skip it.
I too was wondering if it was going to tell the wife to submit more and the husband to be a better leader, I'm happy that you are saying it didn't.
Trivia Bit~ The woman Kirk kisses isn't the actress playing his wife, but is instead his real wife who stepped in just for those scenes.

chartreuseova said...

We really liked Facing the Giants and Flywheel despite the acting. Given the group creating these movies, I wasn't sure I wanted to see this one (also expecting to hate it). Maybe now I will.

Kievas said...

I like what the Kendricks are doing with these movies, and I appreciated "Facing the Giants" even more after hearing the story of how it all came together. We plan on getting this when it's out on DVD.

Singing Owl said...

I didn't see Flywheel. I was scared too after the hype about Left Behind and then watching the video and being very glad I did not promote it. Yikes!

Like you Kievas, I liked Facing the Giants--because of how it came together, and in spite of the acting. Yeah, Kris, I know the acting was bad. The acting is not stellar in this either, but it is okay, in my opinion. I mean, people went to watch Madonna in movies, and they still watch Nicholas Cage, and she is awful and he is as wooden as a post...so...
Hey, you are the movie afficianado, so you are more critical than most! Hee hee!

Anonymous said...

Who was Kayla? Cannot recall this character.

Thanks!

Singing Owl said...

Kayla is the wife.