I generally have not liked “Christian” films that have come out of late. Before I get a lot of mail, what I mean is, I think that films should be written by followers of Jesus, reflect the worldview of Jesus, and be redemptive… but not necessarily be pigeon holed as “Christian film”.
The “Christian” films I have seen have been a little lacking in the acting, editing, and writing departments… really the three things that make a great film. And I hate, then, attaching the word “Christian” to a sub-par production.
That is why I was very reluctant about going to see Fireproof, the latest “Christian film” put out by Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia – the same people who brought you Flywheel and Facing the Giants. But I gave a talk this weekend at The Ridge about marriage and Satan’s attack on the marital relationship… and my staff convinced me I needed to at least KNOW about this movie as I prepared my talk.
So I went and saw it mid week and mid day. And, surprisingly, the theater was pretty packed. And it wasn’t just followers of Jesus – at least I hope not, given the amount of “F-bombs” I heard in the theater! Anyway, the film had a few strikes against it in my mind when I walked into the theater… it starred Kirk Cameron (his Way of the Master stuff really impacted my ministry negatively some years ago), it was being marketed using the “Good ‘Ole Boy Christian Network”, and has really been marketed as a “Christian film” (see above).
And I have to tell you – the acting IS sub-par (although I have to confess being impressed at times with Mr. Cameron). Some of the writing is a little theologically pedantic, and I didn’t walk away thinking – that was great film.
BUT – there wasn’t a dry eye in the room (and yes, it IS sappy at times). I think that despite its shortcomings, this film DOES accomplish its purpose of getting people to examine the level of selfishness in their marriage. I also think it is probably the BEST example of “Christian film” we have seen yet – although I still would rather see GREAT films that reflect the redemptive message of Jesus, made by followers of Jesus, that are not labeled “Christian”. And I did walk away thinking “This film will impact couples”. So much so that I took my wife back to see it to get her opinion. She and I are still talking about it, chewing on it…
In the meantime – go see Fireproof. And talk it over with your spouse or significant other. It could change something in your relationship.