Fireproof: Part 8
So, the Big Kiss (with the actress who is not Catherine) is not the end of the movie! Nope, because just like all good little almost-RTCs, Catherine wants “what happened to you to happen to me.”
Yeah, never mind that Catherine was fine the way she was. She wants to be like Caleb.
Because Caleb is just that awesome.
So, to a musical montage-y song, Caleb takes Catherine to that old church camp where his own father converted him. In fact, he tugs at her hand when she hesitates, literally leading her to the cross!
Montage continues: Caleb’s dad is informed of the
bad good news, and even calls his wife over so she can vicariously celebrate the marital victory of the son who loathes the sight of her.
Caleb and Catherine head out to church, waving at the awesome older couple. I still want the movie to be about them.
Finally, Caleb and his dad take yet another walk outside, just two manly men being manly men together. And John drops the big secret: he didn’t do the Love Dare on Cheryl.
CHERYL DID THE LOVE DARE ON JOHN.
That sounds kinda dirty when I put it that way.
This completely blows Caleb’s tiny mind. I guess from the RTC perspective, I can see why: a woman took charge of things and tried to institute changes in the household, and we know that’s not how a Good Christian Wife should behave.
Though, honestly, I think the bigger deal here is…honesty. John’s been making out like he was the one doing the Dare. He’s been bearing just a bit of false witness, methinks.
But it’s all okay, as John had correctly determined that Caleb would never accept advice from a mere woman.
Caleb: Dad, I have treated her so wrong.
Gee, no shit, Sherlock.
John: Caleb, she deserves your respect.
GEE, NO SHIT, SHERLOCK.
John is just so mild about all this, too. I tell you, my atheist father would not be nearly so mild blasé about it if I treated my atheist mother with half the scorn and derision with which Caleb treats his.
So Caleb jogs back to the house and hugs his mommy.
Caleb: Mom, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know…I didn’t know…
WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES KNOWING MAKE??? No matter which one of his parents did the Love Dare, Cheryl has always loved Caleb and been nothing but good to him. This had nothing to do with Cheryl doing the Love Dare and everything to do with Caleb being a misogynistic prick.
And finally, the real last scene: the “reaffirmation of vows” of the Holts.
Because it’s a covenant marriage now, you see!
Covenant marriages are pretty gross: the only grounds for divorce are physical abuse, adultery, or a felony that results in jail time. So the kind of emotional abuse that involved Caleb screaming into Catherine’s face, and wagging fingers in her face but never actually smacking her? Probably not an out for Catherine. She just needs to forgive him and love him, like the Bible tells her to.
And I’m totally sure that a person desperate to leave his or her marriage would never engage in the forbidden activities (like, say, adultery) as a way to get out.
The one bright spot in all this is that Georgia doesn’t even have covenant marriage laws. So this is all through the church, and presumably means nothing in a legal sense. There is nothing about this ceremony that would prevent Catherine getting out if she still wanted to.
Just the pressure from her newfound church, where she is a baby Christian. And from her smug father-in-law. And from her abusive husband, who has managed to make it several weeks without yelling at her.
And from the super-glued salt and pepper shakers, now sitting atop the wedding cake.
It’s really just compounding the tragedy: now nobody will be able to properly season their food.
Do all these wedding guests have to get Catherine and Caleb another wedding present? If so, it’s a pretty good scam: they should renew their vows every year!
Oh yeah. This marriage has been saved by the love of Jesus. Fer sure.