Tom Hoopes is Vice President of College Relations and writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has written for the Register for more than 20 years and was its executive editor for 10. His writing has appeared in First Things’ First Thoughts, National Review Online, Crisis, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside Catholic and Columbia. He has served as press secretary for the Chairman of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. He and his wife, April, were editorial co-directors of Faith & Family magazine for 5 years. They have nine children.
Matthew Likona shares his ambivalent take on the movie Fireproof at Inside Catholic. He decides “it’s hard to kick a puppy.”
He struggles to find the reason he doesn’t hate the movie. After all, the story is about marriage, but makes a key error:
“Watching it was a painful yo-yo experience; I was forever being whipped between admiration and groaning. I liked that the preservation of a marriage was seen as important, but I winced as the film tried to make its case for why it was important.
“‘Marriage is for better or for worse,’ intoned Michael.
“Well, yes, that’s what we say, but why?
“Caleb is an agnostic at the film’s outset, so there can be no appeal to the notion of marriage as a sign of the unity of Christ and His church, no notion of the two becoming one flesh. All we got was a warning that if you break apart things that are glued together, you risk damaging one or both. But neither Catherine nor Caleb seemed particularly dismayed at the prospect of divorce, and nothing the film actually showed gave the viewer any reason to feel differently.”
He finds the dialogue as forced and unsubtle as the movie’s title; he finds the speechifying dismaying; he finds the ending almost unbearable (the story is about a marriage, but the movie is about accepting Christ).
But what are you going to do? There’s something sweet and innocent about the project, and something endearing about the story.
And you’ve got to love a message movie that sets Internet pornography addiction in its sights.
— Tom Hoopes