Posts tagged ‘Movies’

September 27, 2011

Watch It: Fireproof

When we concluded our Family Enrichment course this year, we not only came away with a great group of friends and a couple of books to read, but we also received a recommendation for a movie to watch. A few weeks ago, John and I got Fireproof via Netflix, and sat down to watch it for a Friday date night.

For the first time in a long time, we both managed to stay awake for the whole movie! I could end my review right there, but as much of a compliment as that is, this film deserves more. And not just because the lead role is played by Kirk Cameron.

From the start, it’s clear that this is a “Christian” film. The logos of the various production companies in the opening credits are various forms of doves, crosses, and so on, and their names are all varieties of Biblical allusions. Later on in the film, Cameron’s character comes to Christ, and his conversion is the turning point in the way he confronts his marriage.

At first glance, this may seem corny, but honestly, I don’t know how I would manage my marriage or my motherhood without God in my life. I suppose that’s the whole of this blog, in a nutshell.

In the movie, a marriage is on the brink of collapse. The couple argues every time they see one another, and can’t understand why the other does—or doesn’t do—what he or she does. (At this point, someone could have just handed them a copy of The Five Love Languages.  But then, we’d have no movie.) Thank goodness they don’t have any children, because their home is a messy enough place for the two of them to try to live.

The divorce papers have been filed when the husband’s parents come to talk to him. The father tells him that they, too, were struggling in their marriage, but now they are happier than they’ve ever been. He invites his son to participate in a “Love Dare”—forty days of using different means to show your spouse you care about him/her and about the marriage.

The husband is reluctant at best, but his father convinces him to give it a try. It’s not an easy journey, and he is often tempted to give up. The fact that his wife is developing an interest in someone else is no help.

The movie has a happy ending, and you can imagine how it turns out. Along the way, though, there are a number of twists and turns that are paced beautifully. Just when you think one element of the story is resolved, there is just a little bit more to it, and always something additive, something that drives the point just a little further home. It was very well written!

The other thing I really appreciated about this movie is that it confronts the consequences of a spouse using Internet pornography. In their relationship, this usage was both a cause of some issues and an effect of others. Whereas often in media, pornography is viewed as something that doesn’t really cause any harm to either the user or anyone else, this movie shows the very real damage it can do to a person and to a relationship. Having known couples who have had to deal with this and who have put it behind them, I found the scene in which the husband struggles with and eventually chooses not to give in to the online temptation particularly real and particularly powerful. Talk about going against the grain.


Fireproof is a lot of things most mainstream movies these days aren’t. Sure, the acting isn’t Oscar-worthy (but it’s really not half bad), but John and I finished the movie with a good conversation, a giant hug, and a renewed gratitude for each other and our marriage. Maybe if we weren’t already in a good place in our marriage, we would have been as reluctant to see this film as the protagonists in the movie were to open up to each other. But maybe not. There is truth and love in this movie, and those things have power.

So if you’ve been wondering where Kirk Cameron went after Growing Pains or if you’re looking for a good movie with a good message, check out Fireproof and let me know what you think!

September 16, 2011

Girl, You Huge

Yesterday was the anniversary of my due date with Jacob.  I’m not sure if there’s a word for that, but there it is.


It’s incredible how much we’ve learned about this little guy over the last year.  Twelve months ago, we didn’t even know Jacob was a Jacob, and not a Sarah, although I had a hunch.  Now we know he’s a kind of accidental vegan (no eggs, no dairy) who loves meat, blueberries, and headbutts as a sign of affection.  Who would have guessed?


Because I’ve had his entire birthday celebration planned for about three months—from his gift to the party menu, down to what he, John, and I will wear—this last week or so I’ve had plenty of opportunity to reflect on where I was this time last year.  My mom does this around my birthday, too.  She’ll tell me about when she knew I was coming, what my dad’s reaction was, how she took out the trash and gave my brother a bath before going to the hospital, and then how I was born early the next morning.  I love that story.  And a birthday needs to be celebrated, so best to start early, right?


A couple of close friends have had babies this year, so I’ve relived my delivery story enough for the time being.  Instead, I’ve been happily reflecting on how huge I was last year.  Sure, I appreciated when people said it was all in the front, and you couldn’t even tell from behind (which is not helpful in getting a seat on the subway, FYI), but let’s be honest.  I was huge.


Considering Jacob was nine pounds, three ounces, and twenty-two inches long, this isn’t really that startling anymore.  Except it kind of is.  Apart from the few stretch marks—and the child, of course—now there is very little about me physically that shows I am a mother.  Whenever I go out by myself, I walk down the street thinking, most of these people probably wouldn’t guess I’m a mom.  Most people probably wouldn’t guess I’m married either, but that’s a story for another day.


If you’ve seen Madagascar 2, you know the scene in which the sweet lady hippo, Gloria, is being wooed by Moto Moto, a male hippo whose name means “Hot Hot”—“The name’s so nice, you say it twice!” he says.  Honestly, the Madagascar movies are not my favorites (sorry, Michael).  But this scene cracks me up.


So Moto Moto, a shallow, suave dude lookin’ for a lady is into Gloria.  Because they’re hippos, his way of complimenting her is to tell her she’s big.  The first thing he says to her is, “Goodness, girl. You huge!” She’s flattered, but asks what else he likes about her.  He comes up with a couple more ways to expound upon her girth, but that’s it.  She sees him for what he is, and as she should, she leaves.  I like this scene for its recognition that whether the compliment is based on girth or slenderness, there’s more to a person than that. Well played, Gloria.


In the meantime, while we’re not being serious, and when my hands and feet were so swollen my rings and shoes didn’t fit, we had all these great lines about giant women to make me laugh.  For the record, these lines may only be applied to a pregnant woman by herself or, in my case, by a husband with express permission.


“Okay, so … what is it about me that you find so interesting?” Gloria asks.

“Well, you are the most plumpin’est girl I ever met.”

“Okay. Other than that.”

“Let’s see. Yeah, well … well, you know, you chunky!”

“… Right.”

“Uh … My gosh. Girl, you huge.”

“You said that.”

“Oh. Yeah, that’s right. We don’t have to talk no more.”


Now, all I can think is, gosh, I was huge.  And now that I’m back in my old jeans, I can clearly see what a blessing it was.


February 7, 2011

On How Motherhood Ruined Horror Movies for Me

They say that becoming a parent changes everything, and there’s no doubt that’s true.  Becoming a mother has changed my perspective on just about everything in this big, wide world—including movies.


I’ve never been a big fan of horror movies.  They freak me out.  People are always running toward dead ends—up stairs, into closets, etc.  I know I wouldn’t be in the most rational state of mind if I were being chased by a guy with an ax or something, but watching that kind of thing from my safe living room couch just plain frustrates me!


Early in my pregnancy, I started having strange dreams.  Pregnancy guides said this was normal behavior, so I didn’t think I was totally losing my mind (yet), but there were some mornings when I woke up as terrified as the chasee in that sort of film.


Once I had a dream that my family’s indoor cat was outside of the house and my dad— from whom she keeps her distance in real life—had the only chance of getting her back in the house.  Something in my gut told me that however valiant his efforts, they would be fruitless; she was dying.


I woke up in such a horrified state that I wanted to call my mom to see if the cat was all right, but I didn’t even have the courage to do that, in case my dream was some intuitive rendering of reality.  Ultimately I learned that the cat was just fine.  The only thing that was in danger was my sanity.  I was becoming a mother, remember, and that changes everything.


These weird dreams kept up throughout my pregnancy.  They aren’t totally gone now, and I doubt they ever will be—once a mommy, always a mommy.


I had another really dreadful night the first time Jacob slept in the crib in his room, rather than in the bassinet in ours.  He was all of fifteen feet away, with both doors open and a baby monitor on.  Still, I had the worst nightmares of my life that night.  I shudder to think of it.


You’d think maybe the experience of these terrible, terrible dreams would make horror movies less difficult for me.  If I’m awake, I should be able to keep in mind the fiction of the film.  These are just actors, telling a story, on a screen.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case.


Around New Year’s we were visiting John’s family, playing board games and watching movies.  Board games are always fun with that crowd, and that day was no exception.  As we switched gears into movie-watching, we flipped through the movies on television and came across Taken with Liam Neeson.   The film opens with a young woman and her friend getting kidnapped after arriving in Paris.  The scene in which they are, in fact, taken, positively made my skin crawl.  Everyone else sat there, nonchalantly continuing to watch the film.  Someone had even seen it before.  But me?  No, thank you.  I considered my options for about a nanosecond and got myself out of there and into a hug as soon as possible.  It wasn’t even that I was picturing something happening to Jacob or anything.  I just couldn’t stand to watch such a horrible thing happen.


I went back in a while later and watched the movie’s happy resolution, all the while convinced that the kidnapper was going to pop out again and re-take the girl.  It was an irrational, emotional, unrealistic reaction.  But from now on, I think I’m sticking to Disney movies.

Non-scary Baby

This photo has nothing to do with this post (clearly).  But I figure you need something sweet to look at after all that scary-talk.  Plus, Kristin says she likes posts with photos.  Ask, and you shall receive!

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