Fireproof (film)

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Fireproof
Fireproof poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Alex Kendrick
Produced by Alex Kendrick
Stephen Kendrick
David Nixon
Written by Alex Kendrick
Stephen Kendrick
Starring Kirk Cameron
Erin Bethea
Ken Bevel
Music by Mark Willard
Cinematography Bob Scott
Edited by Alex Kendrick
Bill Ebel
Production
company
Distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films
Affirm Films
Release dates
  • September 26, 2008 (2008-09-26)
Running time
122 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $500,000
Box office $33,473,297[1]

Fireproof is a 2008 American Christian drama film released by Samuel Goldwyn Films and Affirm Films,[2] directed by Alex Kendrick, who co-wrote and co-produced it with Stephen Kendrick. The film stars Kirk Cameron, Erin Bethea and Ken Bevel.

Reviews for the film were "generally unfavorable" from film critics.[3][4] The film was successful at the box office, becoming a surprise hit,[5] debuting at No. 4 and becoming the highest-grossing independent film of 2008, grossing over $33,000,000.[6] It received awards from evangelical Christian organizations, including the Best Feature Film award at the 2009 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.

Plot[edit]

The film starts in the past, the year 1983, where we hear Catherine, one of the lead characters, as a young child. She asks her mother, in a child's innocence, if it is possible to marry her own father. She was fantasizing of marrying a man like him. Catherine’s mother tells her that it is not possible since her father is already married to her and that their marriage could not possibly end. Catherine thinks that she would be eternally happy when she finds a man who really loves her.

In the present, Catherine is now a hospital administrator, and married to a fireman named Caleb Holt. Caleb hires his firemen with the dictum to never leave your own partner, especially in a fire. But it is shown that Caleb and Catherine quarrel almost every day about mostly everything they could fight with. Until one day, she confronts him about being so selfish with his time and money, especially the time when he said he was saving money to buy a lavish boat. Caleb answers her complaint with the apparent issue that Catherine prioritizes her own desires before her needs and that she is being unappreciative in what he does for other people. Therefore, they both agree to file divorce papers and end their matrimony. Caleb’s father, John, persuades his son to postpone the divorce proceedings and told him to try the Love Dare, a 40-day challenge that is a known attempt to improve a marriage, in which it makes him treat his wife differently. Caleb unwillingly agrees, though he doesn’t tell Catherine about it. Meanwhile, Catherine works at the hospital, and regularly flirts with Gavin Keller, a doctor who she is attracted to.

Caleb’s friend, Michael, also discourages Caleb to pursue the divorce and to emphasize that it was a bad idea, he glues the salt and pepper shaker together that if pulled apart, results to either the other one breaking, or maybe even both. He also points out that Caleb that he will do anything, even things that would risk his life, to save other people but does not even have the will to save his own marriage.

His attempts at the Love Dare challenge start, and it builds up multiple efforts every day. He completes each task as if it were a list to tick off of rather than for the sake of working the marriage out. He even records every effort he does each day in a book. Each effort he makes comes unacknowledged. At Catherine’s hospital, the nurses try to tell her to ignore Caleb’s efforts, and that he is only doing it to “butter her up,” for a better divorce settlement. Catherine also ignores his efforts due to the fact that Caleb chooses to watch pornography rather actually doing it with her, making Catherine feel ashamed and useless.

With the encouragement of both his friend and his father, he goes with the challenge anyway and struggles through the days, even though Catherine’s love for Dr. Keller grows bigger and bigger. After making a significantly bigger attempt on saving the marriage, by planning a candlelight dinner on Day 19, Catherine directly addresses him that she simply does not love him anymore, making him almost quit the challenge.

Caleb’s father, John, persuades him to accept God and Jesus Christ into his life, telling Caleb that he needs them to succeed in all things. John specifically tells him about forgiveness and to give love whether he thinks it is deserved or not. A short time after that, Caleb has first degree burns, and is now being treated at the hospital. That is where Dr. Keller discovers that Catherine is married, but continues his love for her anyway.

Caleb rejuvenates with faith, and seeks the Lord for strength with fighting his own addictions and to try to get Catherine back on his side. He wrecks his computer with a bat, replacing its place with flowers and a note that says that he loves his wife more. Even after seeing the note, Catherine respond with an envelope containing a petition for divorce. Caleb receives this and immediately becomes heartbroken.

It is revealed that Catherine’s mother, who in the past suffered a stroke damaging her voice box, making her have the inability to speak, needing medical treatment and an electric wheelchair, has her needs paid in full and Catherine discovers this. She mistakenly thinks that Dr. Keller paid the bill completely, which makes her love him even more.

Caleb discovers her affair with Dr. Keller and faces him, addressing that he will not have knowledge of this happening and just step aside. He says that he will continue to fight for his wife, no matter what. After, Dr. Keller pulls out his wedding ring from the drawer, revealing that he is actually married and ends it with Catherine.

Days pass, where both Catherine and Caleb go on their daily activities with not knowing what to do with their marriage, but one day, Catherine finds Caleb’s Love Dare book, where it shows each attempt he did for their marriage. Caleb then takes care of Catherine since she is sick, where she shows Caleb that she has read the book. Caleb confesses he had already passed forty days, telling her that he doesn’t have to stop making efforts for their marriage. He fully apologizes for how he has treated Catherine all these years and begs for her full forgiveness, while promising to be a much better husband. He says that he is now willing to save this marriage, trying to live up to his principle that he teaches to his own firemen: to never leave your own partner.

As days go on, Catherine thinks about the divorce and in one of these days, she finds out that it was actually Caleb who paid her mom’s needs in full, but Dr. Keller only paid a small amount. She cries when she finds out, not believing that she mistook Caleb for what he is. She reunites with Caleb, resulting in both of them kissing passionately.

Caleb and Catherine renew their vows as a commitment for God, and the film ends showing the wedding cake and the bride and groom as the salt and pepper shakers that Michael glued together. And with the quote of Roman 5:8: “But God demonstrated His own love towards us in this: That while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”

Cast[edit]

  • Kirk Cameron as Capt. Caleb Holt of the Albany Fire Department's Station One
  • Erin Bethea as Catherine Holt, Caleb's wife, who works as a public relations director for Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital
  • Ken Bevel as Lt. Michael Simmons
  • Jason McLeod as Eric Harmon, a rookie firefighter
  • Perry Revell as Dr. Gavin Keller, a married doctor who admires Catherine
  • Stephen Dervan as Wayne, a firefighter at Station One
  • Harris Malcom as John Holt, Caleb's father
  • Phyllis Malcom as Cheryl Holt, Caleb's mother
  • Renata Williams as Latasha Brown, a nurse at Phoebe Putney
  • Alex Kendrick as Pastor Strauss
  • Chelsea Noble as Catherine Holt body double (uncredited),[7] who appeared in the scene where Caleb and Catherine reconcile, as Cameron would not kiss any woman but his wife

Fireproof's supporting cast also included nearly 1,200 volunteers from Sherwood Baptist Church.[5]

Production and marketing[edit]

Fireproof was filmed during October–December 2007 in 16 locations, all of which were donated. Craig von Buseck of the Christian Broadcasting Network said that the film was, "beautifully shot in and around Albany, Georgia, home to Sherwood Baptist Church."[8] The Albany Fire Department donated its fire station locations, trucks and even some of its crew for use during the filming.[9] The producers were also given use of a train and a hospital wing. The film's cast and crew were made up of 1,200 volunteers, along with a professional film crew of eight who worked below rate. Instead of marketing with television spots and billboards, Fireproof's marketers invited Christian publications to the set and screened the film early for pastors and church groups. Meyer Gottlieb, president of Samuel Goldwyn Films said, "The marketing is more grass roots."[5]

Soundtrack[edit]

Fireproof: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various
Released July 14, 2009 (2009-07-14)
Genre Christian
Length 57 minutes
Label Provident Label Group

The film soundtrack for Fireproof was released on July 14, 2009.[10] It features songs by Christian groups and artists, such as Casting Crowns and Third Day, as well as highlights of the film's score, composed by Mark Willard.

  1. "Fireproof" – Main Title (2:11)
  2. "Brighter Days" – Leeland (3:44)
  3. "This is Who I Am" – Third Day (2:32)
  4. "On the Tracks" (6:08)
  5. "The Love Dare" (1:02)
  6. "Slow Fade" – Casting Crowns (4:40)
  7. "Not Good Enough" (1:00)
  8. "What You Don't Have" (2:37)
  9. "House Fire" (6:01)
  10. "While I'm Waiting" – John Waller (4:52)
  11. "Temptation" (2:52)
  12. "The Apology" (2:43)
  13. "Personal Sacrifice" (3:48)
  14. "You Belong to Me" – Grey Holiday (1:50)
  15. "She Did It To Me" (1:50)
  16. "Love Is Not a Fight (Movie Version)" – Warren Barfield (4:28)
  17. "Bonus Track: While I'm Waiting (Fireproof Remix)" – John Waller (4:49)

Awards[edit]

In 2010, the soundtrack for the film was nominated for a Dove Award for Special Event Album of the Year at the 41st GMA Dove Awards.[11]

Reception[edit]

Fireproof has received generally mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave it rating of 40%, based on 20 reviews.[12] Metacritic gave it a metascore of 28, based on 6 reviews.[13] Ed Gonzalez of LA Weekly said, "Fireproof stops becoming relatable to us all and only to the already, or easily, indoctrinated."[14] Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter said, "While hardly sophisticated in its approach and certainly not polished in its technical elements, the film does get its heartfelt message across with undeniable sincerity. Its success at the box office, which will no doubt continue on home video, demonstrates that there's no shortage of filmgoers dissatisfied with cynical Hollywood product."[15]

Josh Rosenblatt of The Austin Chronicle criticized the film's story, saying it "makes for fruitful soul-fishing but lousy drama."[16] Joe Leydon of Variety gave the film a positive review, saying, "Cameron is genuinely compelling as Caleb, a work-obsessed firefighter on the verge of divorce from his neglected wife."[17] Cheryl Dickow of the Catholic Exchange said, "I feel it is necessary to send a message to Catholics everywhere that this is a movie worth seeing."[18]

Box office[edit]

Fireproof's advance sales accounted for 40% of all Fandango sales the week before the film opened.[19] It was released on September 26, 2008 in 839 theaters[20] and grossed $6,836,036 in its opening weekend, placing at No. 4.[21] During its run, Fireproof had a domestic gross of $33,456,317,[22] more than triple the lifetime earnings of its predecessor, Facing the Giants, and moving it into the top 6 grossing Christian films of all time.[23] It was the highest grossing independent film of 2008.[6]

Home media[edit]

Fireproof was released to DVD on January 27, 2009 and to Blu-ray on September 29, 2009. Included as special features are deleted scenes, bloopers, behind-the-scenes making-of featurettes,[24] and a commentary by the Kendrick Brothers.[25] On its first weekend of DVD release, it ranked third in retail sales[26] and fifth in rentals with a rental index of 51.02.[27] After the upcoming weeks[vague], it made $28,507,308 in DVD sales.[28]

Awards[edit]

2009 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival

  • Best Feature Film[29]
  • Runner up for Best of Festival.[30]

17th Annual Movieguide Faith & Values Awards Gala

  • $100,000 Epiphany Prize[31]

The Dove Foundation's Crystal Seal Awards

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fireproof movie info". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  2. ^ Leydon, Joe (September 26, 2008). "Fireproof". Variety. 
  3. ^ "Fireproof Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic.com. 2008-08-06. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  4. ^ "Fireproof Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  5. ^ a b c Keegan, Rebecca Winters (October 3, 2008). "Fireproof: When Filmmakers Believe in Miracles". Time. Retrieved May 27, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Buss, Dale (January 21, 2009). "What Christians Watch". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 24, 2009. 
  7. ^ Dransfeldt, Jeffrey (September 26, 2008). "Devotion keeps actor Kirk Cameron centered". Ventura County Star. Retrieved May 19, 2010. 
  8. ^ Buseck, Craig von (July 18, 2008). "Kirk Cameron is Fireproof in New Movie". Christian Broadcasting Network. Retrieved March 2, 2009. 
  9. ^ Kendrick, Stephen (September 2, 2008). Stephen Kendrick Interview. Interview with C.J. Darlington. Retrieved May 25, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Fireproof: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack To Release July 14". CMSpin. June 1, 2009. Retrieved June 2, 2009. 
  11. ^ 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards nominees announced on The Tennessean (February 18, 2010)
  12. ^ "Fireproof (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 25, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Fireproof: Samuel Goldwyn Films". Metacritic. Retrieved May 25, 2009. 
  14. ^ Gonzalez, Ed (September 30, 2008). "Movie Reviews". LA Weekly. Retrieved March 14, 2009. 
  15. ^ "Inspirational drama scores a surprise hit". The Hollywood Reporter. September 30, 2008. Retrieved October 22, 2008. [dead link]
  16. ^ Rosenblatt, Josh (October 3, 2008). "Film Listings: Fireproof". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  17. ^ Leydon, Joe (September 26, 2008). "Recently Reviewed: Fireproof". Variety. Retrieved May 25, 2009. 
  18. ^ "Movie Review: Fireproof". Catholic Exchange. 25 July 2008. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  19. ^ Bowles, Scott (September 27, 2008). "'Fireproof' Marries God, Filmmaking". ABC News. Retrieved May 25, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Movie Fireproof". The Numbers. Retrieved February 19, 2009. 
  21. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for September 26–28, 2008". Box Office Mojo. September 26–28, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2009. 
  22. ^ "Weekend Box Office". Box Office Mojo. December 19–21, 2008. Retrieved December 23, 2008. 
  23. ^ "Christian Movies". Box Office Mojo. November 5, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2009. 
  24. ^ "New on DVD". WNDU-TV. January 27, 2009. Retrieved January 27, 2009. 
  25. ^ "Fireproof Actor Talks about DVD Release". Christian Broadcasting Network. January 27, 2009. Retrieved May 25, 2009. 
  26. ^ Arnold, Thomas K. (February 4, 2009). "Lakeview Terrace tops DVD charts". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 6, 2009. [dead link]
  27. ^ "DVD/Home Video Rentals". Home Media Retailing. Box Office Mojo. January 26 – February 1, 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2009. 
  28. ^ "US DVD Sales Chart for Fireproof". The Numbers. Retrieved May 25, 2009. 
  29. ^ Alanis, James (January 12, 2009). "Report from San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved January 13, 2009. 
  30. ^ "San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival Announces 2009 Jubilee Award Winners". San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. January 12, 2009. Retrieved January 13, 2009. 
  31. ^ Snyder, Tom (February 12, 2009). "FIREPROOF Wins $100,000 Epiphany Prize". Movieguide. Retrieved February 12, 2009. 
  32. ^ "Dove Foundation Announces Crystal Seal Award Winners". ChristianCinema.com. April 2, 2009. Retrieved April 3, 2009. 

External links[edit]