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Film / Fireproof

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Fireproof is a 2008 film produced by Samuel Goldwyn Films and Sherwood Pictures and starring Kirk Cameron as Caleb Holt, a fireman whose marriage to his wife Catherine is in trouble, but overcomes his problems by a combination of the "The Love Dare", a 40-day program and God.

Provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear: One of the scenes of Caleb on the job. A little girl trapped in a house on fire while her parents are outside. They had thought she was at a friend's.
  • Anonymous Benefactor: Played with. Caleb didn't give the money to buy the medical equipment with any stipulation of secrecy, but Catherine's assumption that it was Dr. Keller means that she doesn't even check with the company to see who gave the money before running off to show her gratitude.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Arguably, the passersby who help move the wrecked car off of the train tracks along with the firemen.
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  • Black Best Friend: Caleb and Catherine both have them.
  • Break the Haughty: To show the Small Name, Big Ego of the fire department he's not as cool as he thinks he is, Caleb has a hot sauce drinking contest with him. Caleb replaced the hot sauce in his with tomato juice.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Caleb's savings for his boat, mentioned during his first argument scene with Catherine, are later used to buy his mother-in-law's home medical equipment.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Caleb's mother, who he believes was the person who requested a divorce from his father, turns out to be the one who first gave his father the "Love Dare" book that saved their marriage, and which helps to save Caleb's as well.
  • Computer = Monitor: Looks to be the case when Caleb goes after the monitor with a baseball bat in order to combat his internet pornography addiction. He quickly follows it up with smashing up the tower, too. (Well, the case at least. The one shot we get of the computer in the trash looks like most of the hardware is still intact).
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  • Cutting the Electronic Leash: In this case, throwing the computer out the door and beating it with a baseball bat. It needed to be done.
  • Delayed Reaction: Caleb confessing that he drank tomato juice while Wayne drank hot sauce.
    Caleb: It was tomato juice. (Wayne shrugs)
    (that night)
    Wayne: Tomato juice?!
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Caleb has to actually work and follow the instructions in "The Love Dare" in order to achieve this.
  • Father, I Want to Marry My Brother: Done very sweetly by the daughter in the opening of the film.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: It's a mixture of people forgetting lines, goofs onstage, and a lot of pranks that got filmed.
  • Hollywood Fire: Largely averted. Not that much of the house is on fire and it clearly shows the amount of smoke involved. Still, the fact that the section underneath the house is completely intact except for dramatic falling rubble...
  • The Internet Is for Porn: Caleb becomes so addicted to internet porn that when he takes on The Love Dare to get back his wife, one of the things he does is take his computer outside and trash it with a baseball bat.
  • Jerkass:
    • Caleb, at first.
    • Catherine can come across this way just as badly as, if not worse than, Caleb... in her own way.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: An odd one. Kirk Cameron refuses to kiss any woman but his wife, so for the scene where Caleb and Catherine kiss, Kirk's wife was substituted for the regular actress and the lighting was turned down to make it more difficult to tell the difference.
  • The Moral Substitute: Claimed by critics to be the reason why the movie was such a success despite their panning.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The two sassy black women that end up inadvertently undermining Caleb's efforts to win Catherine back.
  • Product Placement: Yes, they sell the book of "The Love Dare". And Chick-fil-A, too!
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: Unlike Hollywood Fire, this one is played straight.
  • Running Gag: Caleb giving up something, then taking it out into the yard to whale on it with a baseball bat, then getting noticed by his elderly neighbors. He gives a cheerful greeting, and the neighbor gives a suspicious ". . . Caleb."
  • Sassy Black Woman: A duo of them unintentionally undermine Caleb's attempts to win back his wife by regaling her with tales of friends of theirs who had the same tactics used on them to soften them up for the divorce.
  • Title Drop: Caleb's father tells Caleb that he needs to "fireproof" his marriage as an allusion to how a fireproof house can still experience a fire, but is more likely to survive intact.
  • Tomato Surprise: When Caleb first confides to his father that Catherine wants to leave him, Dad Holt challenges him to fulfill the conditions of "The Love Dare," pointing out that it aided greatly in his own marriage to Caleb's mother when they had hit a rough patch. Near the end, we learn that it was Dad Holt who had wanted to leave Mom Holt and not the other way around as Caleb had initially assumed; this prompts Caleb to go and apologize to his mother for having been a Jerk Ass to her throughout the movie.
  • The Unfair Sex: While Caleb was kind of a Jerkass and had problems, both personal and in the marriage, he's shown as the only one who had to fight for the marriage. It didn't show Catherine responsible or commissioned for such things, despite that clearly she was equally wrong in many of her arguments and, if anything, slowly changing for the worse.
    • Caleb's watching internet porn is treated as a huge problem worthy of a cold dismissal of all his efforts to save and improve their marriage all the way up until he takes out his entire life savings to get her mother a wheelchair, but Catherine's overt dalliance in flirting with a co-worker (not to mention getting closer to said co-worker when she automatically assumes that he, and not her own damn husband who's been kissing her ass for over 40 days straight and even smashed his computer for her sake, was the one who made that $24K payment) warrants no such consternation. Combines with a Family-Unfriendly Aesop that it's your duty to try to save your marriage, no matter how determined your spouse seems to wreck it, especially when you add in the parents' marriage, in addition to the likely unintended Family-Unfriendly Aesop that puts all the blame for marriage problems on the man and never any on the woman.
    • He does have a lot of free time, but he also has a job (firefighting) where he is on call 24/7 and risks his life on a daily basis (the train scene comes to mind). She has long hours (nurse), but essentially doesn't risk anything if people die on the job. During their early argument, he even lampshades some other issues. He points out that it was her choice to take the job, and then somehow she compares buying groceries and helping her parents (usually pointed out to show how virtuous she is) to having to pay for the house, two cars, and save up for a boat. She has monetary "needs", that he is quick to point out are actually preferences.


Example of: