Caroline Friday

Caroline Friday is a novelist and award winning screenwriter with several film projects in development for both television and theatrical distribution. She is also a 2008 Kairos Screenwriting Winner for spiritually uplifting screenplays, sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. Caroline currently serves as EVP of Sixth Day Media, LLC, a film finance and production company headquartered in the Atlanta area. She lives in Marietta, Georgia, with her husband and three children and can be found at


FireproofThe Kendrick brothers have become two of my favorite filmmakers, with Fireproof and Facing the Giants being on the list of our family’s favorite films. Perhaps these movies don’t tout A-list talent or the cinematography and film technology that is common in a Hollywood movie, but the stories are timeless. Just a week ago, I pulled Fireproof off the shelf and watched it again. My husband and I had seen it at the theater on opening weekend and loved it. Several of our friends saw it with their unbelieving husbands and noted a remarkable impact it had on them and their marriage. This is exactly how God intended Christians filmmakers to use the power of media.

If you haven’t seen Fireproof, don’t be put off that it was directed by pastors and cast mostly with amateur church members from a Baptist church in Georgia. Kirk Cameron stars in the lead role, and he more than makes up for any deficiencies in the acting—although I have to say that I thought the supporting actors weren’t all bad—some of them were actually very good, particularly Erin Bethea, who plays Cameron’s wife, and some of the firehouse friends. All three of my teenage kids laughed and hee hawed at the “guy humor” (especially the “Wrath of God” scenes), and were on the edge of their seats in the action sequences. As I said, it was the power of the story that made up for any issues of quality. Once you sit back and enjoy, knowing this isn’t a Hollywood movie, you’ll find that it far exceeds the avid movie-goer’s expectations.

The story is wonderfully done, weaving the parallels between firemen working together as partners on a rescue mission, husband and wife partnering in life, and the ultimate partnership between God and man through faith in Jesus Christ. The movie starts out with a small town fire chief, Caleb Holt (played by Cameron), going through severe marital issues, which are leading him down the road to divorce. Despite good advice from his Christian friend to “stick together no matter what” (like salt and pepper shakers), Caleb refuses to see things from his wife’s, Catherine, perspective, and naturally places all of the blame on her. Selfish and insensitive, he cares only about saving money for a boat, looking at pornography on the Internet, and hanging out with his firehouse friends. Like many marriages in America (even in the church), home life has become boring, monotonous,

routine, and unfulfilling. With no faith in Jesus Christ, sin has gained the upper hand, and separation appears to be the only option.

Spoiler warning:

Enter Caleb’s father, who proposes that he put the divorce on hold for forty days to complete a “Love Dare.” The Love Dare is contained in a leather-bound book with daily suggestions for showing love and affection to one’s spouse, like fixing a cup of coffee, sending flowers, buying chocolates, etc. Of course, Catherine doesn’t fall for any of it, which makes life even more difficult. But as Caleb perseveres in showing love to Catherine, he finally comes to understand God’s perseverance with those who refuse to accept the love of His son, Jesus—Caleb realizes he has been treating God the same way his unrelenting wife has been treating him.

The salvation scene was very well done and is a model for other Christian filmmakers who often try to shove the thick meat of God’s Word down the throats of people who live on the world’s fake bologna. Like a parable in the Bible, the truth of Jesus Christ was displayed gently and attractively and does not prick the flesh as being offensive or preachy. It was a powerful, emotional, truthful scene that brought an enormous sob to my throat. God is most certainly working mightily in the lives of the Kendricks and all of their supporters at Sherwood Baptist Church!

Eventually, a newly reborn Caleb dumps the computer in the trash and sacrifices his boat money for Catherine’s ailing mother, which does the job. Catherine accepts him with open arms and all is restored, including Caleb’s relationship with his mother. He and Catherine renew their marriage vows at the place where Caleb accepted the Lord, but now their devotion is directed toward God and not toward their own personal interests. The ending, like much of the movie, is a significant “hanky” moment that left me blubbering the first time I saw the film. But this time I was able to reign in the tears, even though my heart was equally moved.

Courageous is their next film and is currently in post production. Like the others (including their first, Fly Wheel), I’m sure it will not disappoint. I pray the Kendricks’ movies encourage other Christian filmmakers to stand firm in their faith and not compromise to the current Hollywood standard.