I admit I was a somewhat reticent about going to see the latest effort of Alex and Stephen Kendrick, film makers from Sherwood Baptist Church, Albany, GA. I had previously seen “Facing the Giants” and had thought that the answers to the problems raised in that film were just a little too pat to be believable. Life’s problems don’t always turn out so easily solved.
I will also say that this is a Christian movie for Christians. That may not be how the producers conceived it since it is being shown in theaters, but that’s how it came across. Those who are not Christian will most likely not gain much from this movie, and may not even care for it much.
And the answers again are a little too pat for my liking, although certainly not as much as Giants.
This time Kirk Cameron, of Left Behind and, earlier, Growing Pains, is cast as Caleb Holt, a firefighter who is seen as a hero to everyone but his own wife, played by Erin Bethea. Their marriage is quickly going down the tubes and the couple don’t really seem to want to do anything about it.
Enter Caleb’s father who sends him a book called “The Love Dare” and challenges him to follow it’s instructions for 40 days.
I will say that this film is a vast improvement over “Facing the Giants.” Many of the supporting cast are amateur actors, who nevertheless do an adequate job. Mr. Cameron is the one who gives strength to this movie. Ms. Bethea also turns in a good performance.
The story is compelling. There is action, drama, with humor mixed in so that one is not overwhelmed with the depression of watching a marriage fall apart.
It’s also nice to go to a movie for a change and not have to worry about what body parts I’m going to see, how many people are going to be blown into chunks of gore. And it’s nice to have a movie where the Christian character is not some crazy psychopath.
The church sure could use the message of the movie with divorce rates for believers matching that of unbelievers. And if someone is at the end of their rope in a marriage and takes the message of this film to heart, I believe it can change their lives and heal their marriage.
I’m just not sure there is an audience outside of that.
You can see more, including video clips and behind the scenes clips, at the movie’s web site.