Fireproof (film)

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Caleb is a firefighter, and town hero, who finds it impossible to save his dying marriage to Katherine, a public relations officer at a Georgia hospital. The forty-day marital counseling project Caleb takes on doesn’t work, but it becomes a kind of tool the Almighty uses to bring renewal to the damaged couple. Long before the marriage is mended, Caleb gives himself to Christ. It makes a difference.

The comic moments in Alex and Stephen Kendrick‘s film are lame and so is much, though not all, of the acting (Kirk Cameron is solid as Caleb, Erin Bethea respectable as Katherine) . Ultimately the piece is awash in sentimentality, but “Fireproof” has something: it turns fascinating. It fascinates to see a man go through both Christian conversion and a long duration of time before ending his wife’s estrangement from him. It fascinates to see a local hero suffer in an ignominious marriage. It fascinates as we wonder whether Katherine, too, will eventually become a Christian. This Christ-honoring film, one full of heart and soul, is hardly boring.

It gets preachy, though, which is too bad. And the cinematography is such that too much purple often makes its way into the frame. Still, compared with such recent American products as Lakeview Terrace and even Swing Vote, “Fireproof,” for all its flaws, is excellent. Drop the comparisons and it’s still worth a visit. It means something when a film is fascinating. Amusingly, there is also product placement of the Christian-owned Chick-Fil-A chicken (purchased by Caleb after his conversion)