Fireproof may be the only movie in which I left feeling like what I learned can have eternal impact if I allow it.
In the movie, Caleb Holt and his wife Catherine are on the brink of divorce. He has a pornography issue, a love for a boat, and the idea he has rights and Catherine has obligations to meet them. She has a full-time job, parents in financial and emotional need due to her mom's stroke, and a desire to be helped and validated. It is the perfect mix for a nasty divorce.
The plot thickens with gossipy gals at work and the attention of a doctor who is all too willing to validate Catherine and give her the attention she is craving. Things look bleak, but there are the heroes...
Caleb's best friend at work shares his testimony of God working in his life, but Caleb doesn't care. He doesn't buy into that God stuff. Caleb's parents step in to help, but instead of simply talking and doling out advice, Caleb's dad gives him a tool--the 40 Day Love Dare. Caleb takes the dare, and the real adventure--and battle--begins.
I tend to be nervous about Christian movies because they tend to be sappy and leave me feeling like things went too right to be real. This movie left my heart in my throat by showing how easily it could have gone all wrong. There were multiple opportunities for the characters to make one choice that would change everything, and that is the life changing truth--life is a series of choices, made one at a time, that determine the end whether it be for good or bad.
In the movie, a marriage is in question, but the truths and tools offered can be related to any relationship. The steps of reconciliation and healing are not given as one magic package but rather broken down into steps, a new one implemented each day. The results are not naively offered as a McDonald's instant fix but shown as a progression of the heart as trust is restored.
Kirk Cameron's performance was powerful. The supporting cast was solid, too. Award winning performances aren't needed to carry this film, though. Truth carries it just fine.
If you choose to see it, and I hope you will, take a few things with you--an open heart, a willingness to hear, and a box of kleenex. I even heard some men sniffle.