[Screen It]


(2008) (Kirk Cameron, Erin Bethea) (PG)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
*None Minor Heavy Moderate Minor
Moderate None Moderate None None
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Mild None Heavy Heavy Minor

Drama: A firefighter begins an experimental, 40-day program to try to save his marriage.
Caleb Holt (KIRK CAMERON) is the captain of a fire station in Albany, Georgia where he and fellow firefighter Lt. Michael Simmons (KEN BEVEL) are trying to teach rookie Eric Harmon (JASON McLEOD) that the most important lesson is you never leave your partner behind, especially in a fire.

Yet, while Caleb holds that principle dear, he's letting his domestic partner, wife Catherine (ERIN BETHEA), slip away due to his porn habit and expecting her to do everything around the house. She's the public relations director for a local hospital, and between work and caring for her ill mother, she doesn't have much free time and doesn't appreciate what Caleb does with his. Accordingly, their marriage is on the rocks, with Michael suggesting his friend should go to counseling, but Caleb wants no part of that.

Nor is he particularly interested in the advice from his dad, John (HARRIS MALCOLM), or mom, Cheryl (PHYLLIS MALCOLM), about such matters, mainly because it comes from a Christian standpoint. Even so, and as a favor to his father, he agrees to try an experimental 40-day program known as the Love Dare. Without telling his wife what he's doing, he supposed to follow one small but significant guideline each day that will supposedly result in a saved marriage.

Beyond also having to deal with his day-to-day duties at the fire station -- including putting up with egotistic braggart Wayne Floyd (STEPHEN DERVAN) -- Caleb's quest has another obstacle. And that's Gavin Keller (PERRY REVELL), a handsome doctor who works with Catherine. He's sweet on her and the feeling has become mutual, meaning Caleb's work is cut out for him. Yet, despite setbacks and self-doubts, he perseveres, and once he accepts the love of Jesus, things start to go his way.

Unless they're fans of someone in the cast or the film's pro-Christian message, it doesn't seem too likely.
For thematic material and some peril.
  • KIRK CAMERON plays a firefighter who will do anything -- and even puts his life on the line -- to save others, but has pretty much given up on his marriage due to feeling he gets no respect from his wife (who isn't happy about his apparent porn addiction). Not particularly religious, he reluctantly agrees to go along with his dad's 40-day plan and eventually turns to Christianity to help him get through his ordeal.
  • ERIN BETHEA plays his wife of seven years, a hospital public relations director who's grown tired of him and their fighting and thus is pressing forward with divorce plans. While still married, however, she starts flirting with Gavin and thus rejects Caleb's initial attempts at being civil with her.
  • KEN BEVEL plays Caleb's best friend and fellow firefighter who tries to support him, but believes that counseling and Christianity will be his best allies to save his marriage.
  • PERRY REVELL plays a doctor at the hospital where Catherine works who develops an interest in her, despite knowing she's married and the fact that he also turns out to be married.
  • STEPHEN DERVAN plays one of Caleb's firemen, an egotistical braggart, but in something of a light comedy way (on the part of the film).
  • JASON McLEOD plays a rookie firefighter who's trying to learn the ropes.
  • HARRIS MALCOLM and PHYLLIS MALCOLM play Caleb's parents who are concerned about his marriage and thus push him to work on fixing it, with most of that coming from the father character.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    The following is a quick look at the content found in this PG-rated drama. There's no profanity, but a few colorful phrases are present. There are several references to a husband looking at porn (called "trash" here) on the Internet, but no actual pornographic material is seen.

    A man takes out his frustrations by bashing household goods (trash can, computer), and two scenes might be unsettling and/or suspenseful for viewers (one involving teens trapped on train tracks in a car wreck as a train approaches, and a firefighter scrambling to save a young girl in a burning house).

    Tense family material (regarding a failed marriage with lots of yelling, disdain and the wife starting to fall for a coworker while divorce is looming) is present throughout the film, and that's accompanied by related bad attitudes. Some behavior (including a contest of drinking hot sauce) might be enticing for some kids to imitate.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

  • None, but Wayne compares himself to a fine wine that's needed to age thirty some years, and there's a comment about parasites in a marriage, including gambling, drugs and pornography.
  • A teen trapped in a car wreck has some blood from her nose and a few scrapes on her face.
  • Caleb and Catherine's marriage is already in a shambles when the story begins, and their attitudes toward each other only worsen as things unfold (including yelling at each other, etc.). This stems from various actions and disagreements, including him apparently having a porn addiction.
  • Throughout most of the film, Caleb is upset about what he views as his mom meddling in his life. After he learns that she wrote the Love Dare course for her marriage, Caleb apologizes to her.
  • Despite Caleb trying to make amends via the Love Dare challenge, Catherine is still cold to him, for past reasons as well as her falling for Gavin.
  • Wayne has quite the ego and boasts that he can beat anyone at most anything.
  • We learn that Gavin, who knows Catherine is married but still pursues her, is also married (as he sheepishly retrieves his wedding ring from a drawer and puts it on).
  • We learn that Gavin took credit (he deserved a small amount, but clearly not all) for paying for a new hospital bed and wheelchair for Catherine's mom.
  • Caleb and his team arrive at the scene of a two-car crash site, with one pretty damaged and currently sitting on train tracks. The driver is awake but a little bloody, shaken and scared, while her passenger is unconscious. They then hear and then see a train approaching and first try pushing the car off the tracks before resorting to lifting it a foot or so at a time as the train keeps coming at them. They manage to get it off just in the nick of time as the train passes by and nearly hits Michael (close enough that it knocks off his helmet).
  • Caleb and his team arrive at a burning house where they learn a young girl is still inside. Caleb then goes into the inferno and finds the girl unconscious on the floor. When part of the floor and/or roof above him starts coming down, he takes her into another room, but the bars on the window prevent his escape. As the flames start coming around the door, he uses his ax to break through the floor and takes the girl down into the crawl space. As flames and pieces of collapsing floor endanger them, he drags her over to one side and repeatedly kicks a grate until it comes lose and his men can pull both of them to safety.
  • Caleb confronts Gavin over Catherine, including making a fist in his direction.
  • A cop wears a sidearm (seen from a distance).
  • Phrases: "You don't need to get smart with me," "Shut up," "You're the hose stretcher," "Dawg," "You lost your mind," "My bad," "You're crazy," "Ladies" (said to men), "Someone's gonna get a karate chop sandwich," "You're my brother from another mother" and "Welcome to the new normal."
  • At various points in the film, Caleb deals with his frustration by beating up his trash can (by hand and with a baseball bat) and then does the same to his home computer (with a baseball bat).
  • Some teens decide to race another car of teens to a pizza place (we later see that they were involved in a bad crash).
  • Wayne does some exaggerated dancing in the mirror.
  • Michael glues a salt and pepper shaker together to symbolize how marriage should be.
  • Wayne has quite the ego and boasts that he can beat anyone at most anything. To put him in his place, Caleb challenges him to a hot sauce drinking contest (downing an entire bottle as fast as possible). Caleb does so without any problem, but Wayne then reacts to the heat and can't continue. Caleb then admits that his was actually filled with tomato juice.
  • None.
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • None.
  • None.
  • Catherine complains about Caleb looking at "trash" (highly suggested but never directly addressed as porn) on the computer. She later brings up the same point, saying that if looking at the trash is how he gets fulfilled, she can't compete with that. He replies that she's not giving him that fulfillment.
  • Caleb is presumably looking at porn on the Internet (we don't see the screen) as he hurriedly tries to close the browser and then simply turns off the monitor when he hears her arriving home. She then knowingly asks if he cleared his browsing history (to delete tracks of what websites he's visited) and says that when he's alone, that's what he defaults to. Later, she complains to her mom that the latter doesn't know what she (Catherine) is competing against and that it makes her feel humiliated.
  • Caleb's dad reminds him that God views lust as adultery.
  • There's a comment about parasites in a marriage, including gambling, drugs and pornography.
  • There's a pop-up ad on Caleb's computer, showing a woman's face and the words "Wanna see?" He's tempted, but doesn't click on that.
  • Caleb and Catherine briefly kiss after getting back together.
  • None.
  • Catherine talks of her mom's stroke a year ago that left her unable to speak, and she later laments the fact that she hasn't been able to talk to her since then.
  • Throughout most of the film, Caleb is upset about what he views as his mom meddling in his life. After he learns that she wrote the Love Dare course for her marriage, Caleb apologizes to her.
  • When we first meet Caleb and Catherine, their marriage is already strained to the point of breaking, with neither happy to see the other and they bicker and then verbally fight over chores, who pays for what and him saving his money for a boat. He then later complains that he's respected everywhere but in his own home.
  • Michael tells Caleb he already experienced marital problems, but we later learn he was talking about his first marriage that only lasted a year, and not his current one.
  • Caleb and Catherine get into another argument, with lots of yelling, her saying she wants out of the marriage, and Caleb saying that's fine with him. We then see her remove her wedding ring, and the two sleep in separate bedrooms.
  • Caleb's dad states that his marriage was on rocky grounds before God saved it.
  • Despite Caleb trying to make amends via the Love Dare challenge, Catherine is still cold to him.
  • Catherine becomes confused by Caleb suddenly seemingly acting civil toward her, but her friends and coworkers convince her that he's just trying to butter her up to do better in the divorce proceedings.
  • Caleb and Catherine end up doing more yelling at each other.
  • Catherine tells Caleb that she does not love him (despite his recent efforts to be nice/civil to her).
  • Some parents are worried about their young daughter who's trapped inside their burning home.
  • Catherine isn't sure how to act upon finding Caleb as one of the wounded patients in her hospital, and then awkwardly leaves while others, including Gavin, tend to him.
  • Despite his efforts of making amends, Caleb is saddened to discover that Catherine has left him divorce settlement papers.
  • Failing marriages and how and whether they should be fixed.
  • The film's pro-Christian message and that one must first love Jesus and God before he/she can understand love.
  • Catherine talks of her mom's stroke a year ago that left her unable to speak and she later laments the fact that she hasn't been able to talk to her since then.
  • Addiction to porn and its effect on relationships.
  • Firefighters and their work and sacrifices.
  • Michael telling Caleb that women, like roses, either bloom with attention or wither without it.
  • Caleb asking where God has been in his life and then stating he isn't interested in faith as it's not for him.
  • Caleb stating that marriages aren't fireproof and that sometimes you get burned. Michael responds to that by saying there are always fires, it's just knowing how to deal with them.
  • The various tactics found in the Love Dare challenge, including saying nothing negative, doing a favor, buying something for the other person to show you care, and much more.
  • Wayne has quite the ego and boasts that he can beat anyone at most anything.
  • Frustrated with his failing marriage, Caleb goes outside, kicks his trashcan and then smashes it against the wall.
  • Frustrated, Caleb beats up his trash can with a baseball bat.
  • We hear that Caleb received some burns during a fire rescue (and he gets a large bandage on his arm).
  • Caleb takes his computer outside, bashes the monitor with a bat, and then repeatedly bashes the CPU tower.

  • Reviewed September 26, 2008 / Posted September 26, 2008

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