Monday, June 8, 2009

Non Current Movie Review: Fireproof

At church on Sunday I noticed that Jobina had picked up the movie Fireproof from the church library. Now to be honest I wasn't thrilled. I have had many clients share with me that they have watched this movie and I'd say half of them thought it was great and half of them hated it. The fact that it had Kirk Cameron was not a plus. I still struggle with judgmental thoughts about his acting in Left Behind and often have to ask for God's forgiveness because I've slagged that movie to others. But I digress.

So Jobina and I watched it tonight. Was it "cheezy?" Yes, in a few ways. It's a Christian movie (thus some unnatural sounding dialogue), it has a small budget, and most of the actors are not professionals. But did I like it? You know, I did.

There were a few reasons. First it was a movie about marriages - and I am passionately interested in helping marriages. Including my own! So in spite of myself I started to get drawn into the movie. The relational aspects of the movie; uncaring spouses, anger, distance, porn addictions, potential affairs, etc - this is stuff I work with every day. As I am always on the look out for anything that I think could be helpful for my clients (and myself) I was mentally taking notes and identifying stuff ("yup, there she is ignoring his first attempts at changing, right on schedule"). Also, Kirk Cameron was the most "unKirk Cameron" I have ever seen - and it was good. Gone was the whiny kid from Growing Pains - I have to say he put in a decent performance.

If you watch this movie you have to appreciate the genre - this is a propaganda film and the two messages are "You need God" and "You need to love your spouse, even if they don't respond." If you can not be offended by the way these messages are portrayed, and the production values don't turn you off too much, I think you could be inspired. I was. I would watch it again - it's a good reminder about what it takes to have a good marriage. I think that almost all marriages go through at least one time when one or both people seriously consider throwing in the towel. The pain/annoyance/betrayal - it all seems unbearable and everything within you screams to end the pain - by getting out. But it doesn't have to be the end. If everything you are doing isn't working and you keep on doing it, hoping for better results (isn't that the definition of insanity?), you need something different. This movie was a good reminder of that . . . and the power of God.

4 comments:

Terry L said...

Sabrina and I have not watched this movie yet. I had a friend mention to me that it was a great movie because it helped show to his wife that he was already doing some of the 'caring' things that Kirk Cameron's character started doing to show his love for his wife, ie dishes, housework, etc etc. So, in part, I haven't brought this movie home because #1 I don't like having to force my wife to watch a movie to get her to appreciate me, and #2 Not sure if we would make it through the 'cheese' of the movie.

However, I have not spoken with anyone that hated this movie...

t

Mark said...

I sure have - some people were downright hostile about it! Thanks for sharing your hesitations Terry . . . they strike a chord in me as I too hesitated. Even when Jobina got it from the church library I noticed that I felt conspicuous - I was slightly worried that people would see that we had the movie and question our marriage (or our taste in movies). Either way I was pleasantly surprised. As far as cheeze I would rate the cheeze level of Left Behind at about a 9 out of 10. Fireproof is more at a 4 or 5 I'd say . . .

Lifelines said...

The message in the movie is great, so if you can look past the 'cheesiness', and some of the unrealistic 'over-the-top' moments (i.e. the neighbours), it's a movie worth watching. I bought it for our church library and I do hope people won't feel conspicuous borrowing it. :) I've only had positive comments from people who have noticed the new addition to our library.

As an aside, I did think the wife was more heartless than she had to be to get the point across (i.e. hospital scene).

Julie said...

It was recommended to me SO highly that I was expecting so much better, quality wise. I was so disappointed when I actually saw it that I had a hard time getting over it. So, thanks for the balanced review! I wondered when I watched it, would most live theatre seem this bad if I watched it on film? as in maybe "Aliens"? I thought we did such a good job at the time, but maybe our acting was just as bad as this!