(PG 122 minutes) Rated: 5 Stars
  

    Okay, at the risk of inflaming those who think the mention of God is against the Constitution, I’m warning you: This movie is about God, and I’m going to mention God a couple of times in this review. If you have a problem with that, STOP READING RIGHT NOW. Whew, now that that’s out of the way, let me tell you about this movie.
    {mosimage}Fireproof is the third film by Sherwood Pictures. You might not have heard of Sherwood. It’s not based in Hollywood, its corporate headquarters is a Baptist church in Georgia. The films are written, produced and filmed in the town of Albany, Ga. So, don’t expect high tech graphics or Hollywood pyrotechnics or any of that kind of stuff. There’s only one famous person in the movie — Kirk Cameron, who’s mostly known for his role as Mike in the TV comedy Growing Pains. More recently he has been seen in The Left Behind series of movies. Cameron, a born-again Christian, has traded Hollywood for his faith, and it looks good on him.
    The movie didn’t have a huge budget or promotional campaign, but it finished third over the weekend, having only played in 800 theaters nationwide. I think that alone says something about the movie.
    The movie tells the story of Caleb Holt, a fireman in the town of Albany. Caleb is married to Catherine, a public affairs person at the local hospital. The couple would seem to have everything: great jobs, two cars, nice house. But something is wrong and that something is tearing their marriage apart.
    The two are at the point of divorce when Caleb’s father steps in and makes Caleb promise to complete The Love Dare. It’s a 40-day program designed to save a marriage. Caleb accepts, although his heart isn’t in it. Over the next few days, he halfheartedly pursues the dares in the books. When he’s called on to do something thoughtful for his wife, he buys a handful of day-old flowers. When he needs to do something unexpected, he pours a cup of coffee. You see where this is going. It’s only when Catherine hits him in the face with these words, “I don’t love you,” that Caleb starts to take the dare seriously and we are introduced to the idea of selfless love.
    So before you think this is too preachy or too serious, let me throw out some of the other stuff. This film is funny. There’s one scene when the two are telling their side of the story to their respective friends. It’s a classic he said/she said. The theater was filled with laughter — but most of it was probably self-conscious laughter — we’d all been there, done that before.
    The movie’s tag line also speaks to an ideal that flourishes among the military — never leave a fallen man. But in this case, it’s never leave your partner behind. And while on the face of it, it’s talking about the firemen, in the subtext, it’s talking about your spouse. The movie drives home the point of never giving up on your marriage; never taking the easy way out; and ever, forgetting that love is a choice. I think everyone should have to see this movie before they get married and at least once or twice along the path of marital bliss.
    So you won’t think I’ve led you astray, there is some preaching. The movie, again, it’s made by a Baptist church, talks about the fact that if you can’t love yourself through God, you can’t love anyone else. There is a very moving evangelical scene in the movie, which made me think not only of my marriage, but also of my relationship with God; and it made me want to give both a lot more.
    This is a movie that will touch your heart and maybe even change your life.

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