This movie is opening in nearly 850 theaters this Friday! It’s important we support these types of movies if we want more of them. Below is a great review by Father Robert Lauder in The Tablet last week, the weekly newspaper of the Brooklyn Diocese.
Next Weekend, There’s Only One Movie to View
By Father Robert Lauder
Run, don’t walk to a movie theatre on the weekend of Sept. 26-28 to see a terrific new film titled “Fireproof.” It is easy to complain about what is wrong with many contemporary films. Our complaints might focus on the trivialization of sex, unbridled violence and a vision of life that offers no hope. Often we feel as though there is nothing or little that we can do about the type of films that the creators of film are presenting to us. There is something that we can do. But it has to be done on that weekend!
On the evening of Friday, Sept. 12, there was a special screening of “Fireproof” at Immaculate Conception Center, Douglaston. A friend of mine, Ana Puente, who is the coordinator of marriage ministry in the diocese arranged for the screening. She asked me to attend. I did not feel like viewing the film because I suspected it would be a poor film, made with the best of intentions, but amateurish and overly sentimental. Ana wanted me to critique the film and give her my honest opinion. Because of my friendship with Ana (or was it because of the promptings of the Holy Spirit?), I attended the screening. What a wonderful surprise the film was for me!
“Fireproof” is an exceptionally good film. The story is good, the acting is good, the direction is good, the music is good and the editing is exceptionally good. This is a film that we should strongly support so that filmmakers will learn that there is a large market for this kind of film.
It may seem strange to readers of this column that I wonder if the Holy Spirit moved me to attend the screening of “Fireproof.” Doesn’t the Holy Spirit have more important things to do than move me to attend a film? The only reason that I mention the Spirit’s involvement is because this is a film that might have a positive effect on millions of people. Film may be the most influential art form of the 21st century. The Holy Spirit is everywhere calling us into union with the Risen Christ. Film can be a channel of the Holy Spirit’s presence.
We can only guess how much the consciousness and conscience of people are shaped and formed by film. A steady diet of the same type of film has to have an effect on viewers. I wonder how viewers of contemporary film, especially young viewers, can possibly have a Christian view of sexuality when they are bombarded by a pagan philosophy of sexuality in so many contemporary films.
A few years ago secular critics were dumbfounded by the popularity of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.” They could not understand why so many people were flocking to see it. On the date that the film opened a film critic on television said that anyone who wanted to see the film had better not delay because it would close in a few days. The last figure that I heard was that Gibson’s film grossed more than $800 million and this was before the DVD was available. There were many reasons for the success of Gibson’s film but one was that many Christians were eager to see their beliefs depicted favorably in a film. Secular critics just did not realize this.
The reason that it is crucial that large numbers attend the showing of “Fireproof” on its opening weekend is that film distributors judge the popularity of a film by the receipts from the first weekend that the film is shown. If “Fireproof” does well that first weekend then its run will be extended and it will be shown at more theatres.
On Sept. 26, some of the theatres at which the film will open are: the Farmingdale Stadium, the Westbury Raceway 10, the AMC Loews Stony Brook, the Yonkers Central Plaza 4, the Empire 25 theaters in Manhattan, as well as other theatres. The theater in Brooklyn at which the film will open has not yet been announced as I am writing this column.
I have announced the opening of the film in the parish where I celebrate Mass on Sundays and I am going to mention it at St. John’s University to my students and to the seminarians and retired priests with whom I live.
On Wednesday, Sept 24, I hope to discuss the film on Sirius Radio on the New York Archdiocesan radio program. The film is a must for anyone involved in Pre-Cana programs or any apostolate related to marriage. In fact I cannot think of any Catholic group of adults who would not profit from viewing “Fireproof.”