National groups such as Focus on the Family, Outreach, FamilyLife, The Marriage CoMission, America's Family Coaches, AMFM, Marriage Alive Communications, and MarriageToday endorse the movie and are urging their constituencies to see it. Influencers such as marriage expert Gary Smalley and Bubba Cathy of Chick-fil-A are also working to spread the word.
It's no secret that U.S. marriages are in crisis. The U.S. Census Bureau and marriage organizations vary on the stats but agree that nearly half of all weddings lead to divorce—with rates highest in the Bible belt. Some 25 percent of U.S. adults divorce at least once; and given the abundance of poor marriages, many couples skip it outright.
"Fireproof" mirrors the problems of many marriages, in this case through a firefighter whose high-stress job spills into his home life. Hitting on pain points common to married life—from indifference to insults to emotional affairs and internet porn—the story opens with a couple's disintegration.
"Most movies are about relationships that lead to marriage," Michael Catt, of Sherwood Pictures said. "'Fireproof' picks up seven years into a marriage headed for divorce. And the question is: Can a cold marriage revive? Why stay together?"
Given that firefighters have one of the nation's highest divorce rates, "Fireproof" also has the support of many firefighters and related organizations. John White, former head of the Los Angeles Fire Department's Search & Rescue Team, is urging firefighters across the country to see it.
A Sampling of Endorsements...
Bubba Cathy, Chick-fil-A:
"Since I had the privilege of visiting the 'Fireproof' set, I've been this movie's biggest fan. On top of a powerful message and the potential to change lives and marriages, this is one great movie!"Scott Evans, Founder and CEO, Outreach, Inc:
"We all know marriages inside and outside the church are in trouble. Fireproof the movie finally provides the church a powerful and relevant way to address the need and provide hope and healing through Jesus Christ. I would encourage every church to do a Fireproof Your Marriage message series and outreach."Dr. Jeff S. Fray, Chair, The Marriage CoMission:
"The time has come in America when the devastating impact of divorce and the breakdown of the family are un-masked. [This movie's] challenge to 'never leave your partner behind' brings to us a dramatic experience of the power of sacrifice and forgiveness in restoring hope for a strong, lifelong marriage. I expect this film will save marriages that are faltering, enrich good marriages, and give all viewers more confidence that great marriages can be a reality."Bob Waliszewski, Director, Focus on the Family's Plugged In
"[After] a few days of filming, I was most impressed with how [directors] Alex and Stephen [Kendrick] began the day with prayer and a short teaching from the scriptures. The clips have gotten me excited about the potential of this film, first, to present the Gospel, second, to give hope to struggling marriages. And third, to say to those struggling with addictions that the cycle can be broken."Dennis Rainey, President, of FamilyLife
"'Fireproof' is going to do more than entertain and stir hearts when it comes to movie theaters (this fall). This is a movie that will impact couples in a profound way for decades to come."Sherwood's aim to "reach the world from Albany, GA" rides on first-rate entertainment packing powerful messages. Its first movie, "Flywheel," explored business integrity. "Facing the Giants" tackled personal fear and failure. Now "Fireproof" asks what makes a true hero. "This movie is about fireproofing your most important earthly relationship," Executive Producer Jim McBride said. "Our hope and prayer is that people will be touched by the story of Caleb and Catherine and commit to fireproofing their marriages—no matter what state those marriages are currently in."
For more information about "Fireproof," how individuals and organizations can get involved, and in what theaters the movie will open, stay current with www.FireprooftheMovie.com