Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Alex Kendrick|
|Produced by||Alex Kendrick
|Written by||Alex Kendrick
|Music by||Mark Willard|
|Editing by||Alex Kendrick
|Distributed by||Samuel Goldwyn Films
|Running time||122 minutes|
Fireproof is a 2008 American Christian drama film released by Samuel Goldwyn Films and Affirm Films, 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. The film was successful at the box office, becoming a surprise hit, debuting at #4 and becoming the highest-grossing independent film of 2008, grossing over $33,000,000. It received awards from evangelical Christian organizations, including the Best Feature Film award at the 2009 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.
In 1983 as a little girl, Catherine wants to marry her firefighter father. Her mom says, "You can't marry Daddy, because I'm married to him."
25 years later, in 2008, Catherine is now 28 and is married to young firefighter Caleb Holt (Cameron). On the job, Caleb lives by the motto "Never leave your partner behind", forcefully impressing this dictum on the men in his fire crew. But his marriage with Catherine (Bethea) is suffering and she wants a divorce. Differing life priorities have led their marriage to a breakdown. She complains that he is addicted to internet porn; she views his saving money for a boat of his dreams as selfish, thinking that the money should be used to provide her ailing mother's medical equipment. Caleb feels respect from everyone except his own wife, who he says does not value him.
Caleb's father, John, challenges him to commit to a 40-day "Love Dare" (a real-life Christian devotional program designed to strengthen marriages; also written by the film's writer, director and producer team of Alex and Stephen Kendrick.) Caleb reluctantly agrees to try it, and begins following the program in an attempt to win Catherine back. She doubts his sincerity, suspecting his real motive as a ruse to obtain a better divorce settlement. She sees Caleb's actions as half-hearted, like the inexpensive flowers he buys her. Caleb learns, though, to refrain from blowing up in anger or insulting Catherine to her face.
Frustrated with her coldness, but with John's encouragement, Caleb continues on the plan. His close friend Michael (Bevel) also encourages Caleb to become a born-again Christian. He illustrates the together-yet-different nature of a healthy marriage through salt and pepper shakers he has glued together. Caleb may try to pull them apart, but if he does, the contents will break one, or both of them in the end.
At the hospital where she works, Catherine begins flirting with the friendly Dr. Gavin Keller (Perry Revell) and tells him of her mother's medical problems. Meanwhile, Caleb injures his arm in a firefight and is brought to the hospital. A nurse inadvertently says (in front of Dr. Keller) that Caleb is Catherine's husband.
Continuing his 40-day challenge, Caleb begins doing more household chores and errands. He leaves her more expensive beautiful roses and even smashes his computer to remove its temptations. But, Catherine still thinks he has an ulterior motive and remains intent on divorce.
Catherine then learns that a new wheelchair and bed for her mother have been paid for in full. Assuming that Dr. Keller bought the wheelchair, she arranges a lunch date to thank him. Meanwhile, Caleb discovers Dr. Keller's budding relationship with Catherine and warns him he will not let Catherine go without a fight. Dr. Keller begins to distance himself from Catherine. He tries on his wedding ring, but it no longer fits.
One morning, Catherine is home sick and Caleb decides to take care of her. She asks why he has changed his behavior. He tells her about the Love Dare and apologizes for his past selfishness. Catherine says she needs some time to think about their future. A few days later, she learns that it was Caleb, not Dr. Keller, who paid for the lion's share of her mother's new medical equipment, exhausting his long-term boat savings. Finally, she sees that Caleb's desire to change is sincere. Ashamed of doubting him, she dons her own wedding ring, dresses and makes herself up and rushes to embrace her husband with the respect and admiration he has craved.
When Caleb thanks his dad for the Love Dare, he is surprised to learn it was his mother who first did the Love Dare on John, not the other way around. The young couple renew their wedding vows in an outdoor ceremony, this time as a covenant with God. The closing shot shows their wedding cake, with salt and pepper shakers for its bride and groom statues.
- 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 fireighter
- Perry Revell as Dr. Gavin Keller, a married doctor who flirts with 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), who appeared in the scene where Caleb and Catherine reconcile, as Cameron would not kiss any woman but his wife
Production and marketing
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." The Albany Fire Department donated its fire station locations, trucks and even some of its crew for use during the filming. 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."
|Fireproof: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Various|
|Released||July 14, 2009|
|Label||Provident Label Group|
The film soundtrack for Fireproof was released on July 14, 2009. 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.
- "Fireproof" – Main Title (2:11)
- "Brighter Days" – Leeland (3:44)
- "This is Who I Am" – Third Day (2:32)
- "On the Tracks" (6:08)
- "The Love Dare" (1:02)
- "Slow Fade" – Casting Crowns (4:40)
- "Not Good Enough" (1:00)
- "What You Don't Have" (2:37)
- "House Fire" (6:01)
- "While I'm Waiting" – John Waller (4:52)
- "Temptation" (2:52)
- "The Apology" (2:43)
- "Personal Sacrifice" (3:48)
- "You Belong to Me" – Grey Holiday (1:50)
- "She Did It To Me" (1:50)
- "Love Is Not a Fight (Movie Version)" – Warren Barfield (4:28)
- "Bonus Track: While I'm Waiting (Fireproof Remix)" – John Waller (4:49)
Fireproof has received generally mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave it rating of 40%, based on 20 reviews. Metacritic gave it a metascore of 28%, based on 6 reviews. Ed Gonzalez of LA Weekly said, "Fireproof stops becoming relatable to us all and only to the already, or easily, indoctrinated." 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."
Josh Rosenblatt of The Austin Chronicle criticized the film's story, saying it "makes for fruitful soul-fishing but lousy drama." 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." 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."
Fireproof's advance sales accounted for 40% of all Fandango sales the week before the film opened. It was released on September 26, 2008 in 839 theaters and grossed $6,836,036 in its opening weekend, placing at #4. During its run, Fireproof had a domestic gross of $33,456,317, 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. It was the highest grossing independent film of 2008.
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, and a commentary by the Kendrick Brothers. On its first weekend of DVD release, it ranked third in retail sales and fifth in rentals with a rental index of 51.02. After the upcoming weeks, it made $28,507,308 in DVD sales.
2009 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival
17th Annual Movieguide Faith & Values Awards Gala
- $100,000 Epiphany Prize
The Dove Foundation's Crystal Seal Awards
- Best Drama
- "Fireproof movie info". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
- Leydon, Joe (September 26, 2008). "Fireproof". Variety.
- "Fireproof Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic.com. 2008-08-06. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
- "Fireproof Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
- Keegan, Rebecca Winters (October 3, 2008). "Fireproof: When Filmmakers Believe in Miracles". Time. Retrieved May 27, 2009.
- Buss, Dale (January 21, 2009). "What Christians Watch". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 24, 2009.
- Dransfeldt, Jeffrey (September 26, 2008). "Devotion keeps actor Kirk Cameron centered". Ventura County Star. Retrieved May 19, 2010.
- Buseck, Craig von (July 18, 2008). "Kirk Cameron is Fireproof in New Movie". Christian Broadcasting Network. Retrieved March 2, 2009.
- Kendrick, Stephen (September 2, 2008). Stephen Kendrick Interview. Interview with C.J. Darlington. http://www.titletrakk.com/movie-interviews/stephen-kendrick-interview.htm. Retrieved May 25, 2009.
- "Fireproof: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack To Release July 14". CMSpin. June 1, 2009. Retrieved June 2, 2009.
- 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards nominees announced on The Tennessean (February 18, 2010)
- "Fireproof (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 25, 2009.
- "Fireproof: Samuel Goldwyn Films". Metacritic. Retrieved May 25, 2009.
- Gonzalez, Ed (September 30, 2008). "Movie Reviews". LA Weekly. Retrieved March 14, 2009.
- "Inspirational drama scores a surprise hit". The Hollywood Reporter. September 30, 2008. Retrieved October 22, 2008.[dead link]
- Rosenblatt, Josh (October 3, 2008). "Film Listings: Fireproof". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
- Leydon, Joe (September 26, 2008). "Recently Reviewed: Fireproof". Variety. Retrieved May 25, 2009.
- Movie Review: Fireproof
- Bowles, Scott (September 27, 2008). "'Fireproof' Marries God, Filmmaking". ABC News. Retrieved May 25, 2009.
- "Movie Fireproof". The Numbers. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
- "Weekend Box Office Results for September 26–28, 2008". Box Office Mojo. September 26–28, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
- "Weekend Box Office". Box Office Mojo. December 19–21, 2008. Retrieved December 23, 2008.
- "Christian Movies". Box Office Mojo. November 5, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
- "New on DVD". WNDU-TV. January 27, 2009. Retrieved January 27, 2009.
- "Fireproof Actor Talks about DVD Release". Christian Broadcasting Network. January 27, 2009. Retrieved May 25, 2009.
- Arnold, Thomas K. (February 4, 2009). "Lakeview Terrace tops DVD charts". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 6, 2009.[dead link]
- "DVD/Home Video Rentals". Home Media Retailing. Box Office Mojo. January 26–February 1, 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
- "US DVD Sales Chart for Fireproof". The Numbers. Retrieved May 25, 2009.
- Alanis, James (January 12, 2009). "Report from San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved January 13, 2009.
- "San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival Announces 2009 Jubilee Award Winners". San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. January 12, 2009. Retrieved January 13, 2009.
- Snyder, Tom (February 12, 2009). "FIREPROOF Wins $100,000 Epiphany Prize". Movieguide. Retrieved February 12, 2009.
- "Dove Foundation Announces Crystal Seal Award Winners". ChristianCinema.com. April 2, 2009. Retrieved April 3, 2009.
- Official website
- Fireproof at allmovie
- Fireproof at the TCM Movie Database
- Fireproof at the Internet Movie Database
- Fireproof at Box Office Mojo
- Fireproof at Rotten Tomatoes
- Fireproof at Metacritic
- Fireproof (film) on Facebook