Fireproof (2008) starring Kirk Cameron, Erin Bethea, Ken Bevel
Fireproof is a movie about an unhappily married couple, on the verge of divorce. Until the husband’s father challenges him to a 40 day dare …
Caleb Holt : You never leave your partner! Especially in a fire!
Caleb is the husband, a professional firefighter. And he understands that basic principle when it comes to fighting fires. But he doesn’t understand that it applies to his marriage a well. He and his wife Catherine are on the verge of divorce. They’re both agnostic at best, but his parents have become Christians in recent years. And his father gives him a challenge that saved their marriage, the 40 Day Dare. Each day, for the next 40 days, he would have to do something loving, unselfish, for his wife — without expecting anything in return.
Caleb’s a selfish man, fixated on his work and his boat, and has a problem with computer pornography. Catherine’s wrapped in her own problems, including her seriously ill mother. The ending of the movie’s never in doubt — that they’ll reconcile — but they journey to get there is riveting.
One other thing in Caleb’s corner is his best friend and fellow firefighter, Michael. Caleb thinks that Michael has the perfect marriage. And he has a better understanding of marriage than Caleb does:
Michael Simmons : Caleb, salt and pepper are completely different. Their makeup is different; their taste and their color. But you always see ’em together. And when you… Hang on a second.
[Michael glues a salt and pepper shaker together]
Caleb Holt : What are you doing? Michael, what did you do that for?
Michael Simmons : Caleb, when two people get married, it’s for better or for worse, for richer or for poor, in sickness and in health.
Caleb Holt : I know that. But marriages aren’t fireproof. Sometimes you get burned.
Michael Simmons : Fireproof doesn’t mean a fire will never come, but that when it comes you’ll be able to withstand it.
Caleb Holt : You didn’t have to glue them together.
[Caleb picks up the shakers and starts trying to force them apart]
Michael Simmons : Don’t do it, Caleb. If you pull them apart now, you’ll break either one or both of them.
But that knowledge came at a very high cost. No spoilers. It’s an excellent movie, that leads the couple to a new marriage, and a new life:
Caleb Holt : I am sorry. I have been so selfish. For the past seven years, I have trampled on you with my words and with my actions. I have loved other things, when I should have loved you. In the last few weeks, God has given me a love for you that I have never had before. And I have asked Him to forgive me. And I am hoping, I am praying, that somehow you would be able to forgive me too. Catherine, I do not want to live the rest of my life without you.
Lt. Caleb Holt lives by the old firefighter’s adage: Never leave your partner behind. Inside burning buildings, it’s his natural instinct. In the cooling embers of his marriage, it’s another story. After a decade of marriage, Caleb and Catherine Holt have drifted so far apart that they are ready to move on without each other. Yet as they prepare to enter divorce proceedings, Caleb’s dad asks his son to try an experiment: The Love Dare. While hoping The Love Dare has nothing to do with his parents’ newfound faith, Caleb commits to the challenge. But can he attempt to love his wife while avoiding God’s love for him? Will he be able to demonstrate love over and over again to a person that’s no longer receptive to his love? Or is this just another marriage destined to go up in smoke?
Cast of characters
- Kirk Cameron (Left Behind – the Movie) … Caleb Holt
- Erin Bethea (New Life) … Catherine Holt
- Ken Bevel … Michael Simmons
- Stephen Dervan (Courageous) … Wayne Floyd
- Eric Young … Terrell Sanders
- Jason McLeod … Eric Harmon
- Harris Malcom … John Holt
- Phyllis Malcom … Cheryl Holt
- Perry Revell … Gavin Keller
- Stephanie Makulinski … Robin Cates
- Renata Williams … Latasha Brown
- Dwan Williams … Deidra Harris
- Amberly Marquard … Ashley Phillips