With movies like Noah and God’s Not Dead doing providential things at the box office, industry predictors have called 2014 the year of the Bible movies. That being the case, I thought I’d revisit a tale made by Christians for Christians, a tale so bad that it forgot to ask God to be a good movie.
I give you Fireproof.
If you’ve never seen it much less heard of it, you probably haven’t been to church in the past seven years. The intention behind this movie is nice – helping married couples make it through the long haul. The execution is something else and worthy of mockery.
Never leave your partner behind, we’re told right away – be it in a fire or in a awkward scene that doesn’t know how to end. Just because there’s bad writing all around doesn’t mean you get to be selfish.
The summary is Kirk Cameron plays a fireman (oh, I get it!) married to a nurse and they’re having marital problems. They’re in debt and he likes to look at porn. Not that the movie identifies it as such – its referred to as “You’re looking at stuff on the computer again, aren’t you?” Then again, it could be deals on eBay or that mash up of House of Cards and Game of Thrones. I shouldn’t be so quick to judge.
Also his wife’s mother is sick and Kirk wants to buy a boat.
“Where’s my favorite cereal?”
“I forgot to buy it.”
“YOU’RE A MEAN WOMAN!”
-actual dialogue from the movie.
Kirk’s wife is a nurse and is surrounded by sitcom-worthy caricatures….one of them is sassy and makes jokes about food and cute white doctors.
I’m not saying which one.
Speaking of cute doctors….
Since Kirk is all into computer porn and not spending his boat money on her mother, she’s found a kindred spirit in the cute doctor.
Kirk Cameron’s acting face shows a range of emotions. That is, if your range has two settings.
…and mild annoyance.
…back to mild annoyance.
His wife on the other hand, just lets it all go…
Which is easy to do when you have a supporting cast of female archetypes to surround you. Espescially sassy ones with biting homespun wisdom. I’m not saying which one it is.
The movie posits The Love Dare – where for 30 days you basically outdo your partner in displays of affection. In one of the most on-the-nose scenes I’ve ever seen, Kirk’s father acts as walking plot point of Christian marital theology….
“There’s a cross behind me, right?”
He goes for the love dare…and DARES HER TO LOVE HIM BACK with this passive aggressive card.
The Love Dare doesn’t just stop at you and your significant other. Feel free to rub your happiness in other people’s faces.
Kirk has a coworker that compares marriage to salt and pepper shakers, which sends this movie into an overdose of metaphor. Is marriage like fighting fires or is it about condiments on the table?
The answer is both.
Marriage is also like pulling cars off train tracks.
In case this movie has gotten too serious for you and you need some comic relief, the movie presents this guy…
He’s dancing in front of a mirror because he’s not cool. But its funny, right?
What the movie doesn’t answer is why there’s no woman who’s willing to love dare him at any time.
Speaking of love dares, Kirk makes a stand against “looking at things on the computer”. So naturally, he takes the computer outside and pulls out a baseball bat. Not sure how he’s going to book his travel or see pictures of what his friends ate for dinner, but the man has priorities.
…and more mild annoyance.
There’s a happy ending here. Kirk dared his wife to love him, and she accepted the dare. Meanwhile there’s a cute doctor sitting and eating lunch by himself from here on out – because he wouldn’t take the Vaguely Flirting With a Coworker Dare.
Our final scene involves a renewing of vows at the exact same place that this whole Love Dare got brought up. And we’re left with this final shot….
Frankly, it would have made more sense to have a little fireman groom and bride, or even just set the cake on fire, but I’m guessing props master totally forgot and threw this in at the last minute. If that’s the case, this movie should have been called Seasoning Proof.