So, this past Saturday I saw the movie Fireproof.
It’s one of those rare movies. It entertains, teaches, and moves you. I feel like I won’t be able to really do it justice by describing it here, but I will try. (If you want to skip my ramblings and go to more knowledgeable sources, check out the movie blog and/or the Fireproof Your Marriage site.)
My boyfriend and I went to see it more or less on a whim. I knew a little about the movie going in- that it was about marriage and related struggles, starring none other than Kirk Cameron (where has he been, anyway?). Unfortunately, my BF didn’t know anything about it, and I think he thought it was actually about firefighters, so he was even more blindsided by its awesomeness than I was.
The movie details the marital struggles of Caleb (Cameron) and his wife Katherine, a couple on the brink of what looks to be a nasty divorce. Even though I’m not married, their problems seem fairly common to me- distance, lack of respect, negativity, attraction to other people (but not full-out adultery, mind you). The great part of the movie is how their problems are resolved, and how their marriage is strengthened as a result.
To make a long story short (and you can read it in other reviews anyway), Caleb’s father challenges him to complete the “Love Dare”, a day-by-day series of actions that ask him to respect his wife and treat her very differently than he has been doing. At first Caleb is resistant, but then he begins to understand and enjoy changing his attitude towards his wife. Unfortunately, his wife is not on the same page as him through much of the movie, creating more conflict and problems for Caleb- until the happy ending, of course!
I don’t feel that’s it’s too much of a giveaway to reveal the ending, because the crux of the movie is the journey, the path Caleb (and, to a lesser extent, Katherine) takes to get there. This is where the Christian message comes in, and don’t let it turn you off, as it would have for me even just a year ago. Caleb realizes that he can’t really love his wife until he understands how he can love Jesus. This realization comes in a very moving scene where Caleb is complaining viciously to his father about Katherine- how she doesn’t realize how he’s changing, she still reacts negatively to every new thing he tries, and she doesn’t recognize the sacrifices he is making. Basically, he asks: How can I love her when she won’t give me a chance? At this moment, his father is standing underneath a cross- all he has to do is look at Caleb, and Caleb immediately recognizes the parallel between what he is frustrated about, and what Jesus did for us. This was an incredibly well acted, well thought out, well presented scene that I cannot do justice to, and you must see it for yourself.
The second part of the movie that greatly affected me was after this turning point for Caleb. As the beautiful song “While I’m Waiting” by John Waller plays in the background, we see a montage (no, not a cheesy 80’s one either!) of Caleb’s life as he carries on with the Love Dare, as his oblivious wife continues a flirtatious relationship that could spell the end of their marriage no matter what Caleb does, as Caleb goes about his job as Captain of the local fire station, etc. The lyrics of the song are very moving, and the imagery in the film really pushes the song’s and the movie’s message. My favorite part was when, as Waller sings “I will move ahead, bold and confident/Taking every step in obedience,” we see one of the fire department’s trainees climbing a huge ladder into the sky- literally. They’ve extended a ladder as high as it will go, and from the way the scene is shot, all you see is the fireman climbing to the top of the ladder which looks as if it just extends into the heavens. It really fits wonderfully with the music.
There’s just not much else I can say. You should go see it and experience it for yourself!