Why Is This Happening?
Fireproof in the Top 5 at the Box Office

By: Joe

Welcome to the first in a series of at least two (which would be a record for this site assuming I actually do the second one) of me examining a bizarre phenomenon within the American culture and attempting to arrive at an answer to the question "WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?" Now, of course, when I say I'm attempting to arrive at an answer, I actually mean I'm going to ramble and complain a lot and not arrive at anything even remotely conclusive, but then that's my whole charm, isn't it? Oh, no, apparently it isn't or our site traffic wouldn't have dropped so sharply as of late. Oh well. I was breastfed on cynicality and complainyness, neither of which, I would not learn until much too late, are even real words, so I guess I'm stuck this way and so are you. Unless you close the page. Which you have. I wish I'd had a chance to say goodbye...

Now, as a 'Merican, I can't very well be expected to actually follow so-called "important" issues in our society. Certainly, I hear faint rumors of the economy doin' stuff and the fall of our empire and that they're going to stop making that flavor of Ruffles I like so well, but the only junk my brain can process is that which is related to the entertainment industry, so let's do that.

What the hell is Fireproof? Well! It's a movie starring Kirk Cameron, that wonderful lad from the classic sitcom Growing Pains which instilled in us youths such important messages as "Kirk Cameron thinks cocaine is bad, but, then again, he seems like quite a tool anyway" and, uh, "Alan Thicke is a stupid name." I can't really remember much about Growing Pains except the cocaine episode and some surreal one where kids got trapped in the TV, I think. Anyway, Kirk decided to become an Evangelical Christian at some point, which is one of those Christians that adds its own commandment which is:

#11 - Thou shalt not do anything remotely enjoyable ever.

So, after doing retarded things like insisting on never taking his wedding ring off ever, thereby needing to have makeup or a flesh-colored band-aid or something over his finger all the time whenever being filmed, and then doing one movie I'm not going to bother mentioning and then one that looks like this:


He then said, "Now I just gonna go Jesus craaaazy" and pretty much only did religious productions after that, like the stunning Left Behind series that I feel like I should really see so I can understand what I'm in for when the rapture comes a-knockin' and all that. Anyway, now Kirk is in, surprise, a Christian movie called Fireproof. It's a movie about a godless firefighter whose marriage sucks so he goes through a 40-day planner that has him doing different junk every day to make him like his wife more, oh yeah and also HE HAS TO CONVERT TO CHRISTIANITY.

No, I haven't seen the movie. So I suppose I can't actually legitimately pass judgment on it, the way God does on our souls and whatnot? And, you know, I'm willing to give stuff the benefit of the doubt sometimes. Even stupid, worthless Christian bullshit sometimes ends up being awesome. Like that song "Awesome God" by Rich Mullins? That's a great song. Also, the um...well, I can't really think of anything else that's cool and Christian, but I like that song. But, yeah, maybe Fireproof is really great, I guess. But I'm sort of going to assume it's lame and preachy because it's a Christian movie and the trailer looks lame and preachy and also it's not like I've judged things without being genuinely familiar with them before (Somalia gets a thumbs down) so I'm not giving this movie special mistreatment or anything. Plus, we aren't here to review! We are here for SCIENCE!!! Or sociology, I guess. Well, no, neither.

So, yeah, this movie came out last week and debuted at number three in the box office and has stayed in the top five since. Uh, what? Why has America suddenly gone bananzo for a low-budget, Christian-themed, only has one actor they've ever heard of, firefighter movie that has the tagline "Never leave your partner behind"? Well, I have some theories so let's run through them.

"Dammit! I came all this way and she's already blackened beyond--oh wait...Dammit! I came all this way!"

Theory #1 - People still wanna see firefighter movies because they love all those fun 9/11-based productions, memorabilia, bobble-head dolls, et al.

I guess this one's possible, but I thought 9/11 stopped being cool to like at the same time as Dubya. Remember when he was at the top of his game and he had that rap single out from his album Dub Ya Earz called "9/11 is a Joke"? Yeah, that song was the shizz-niggle, as Dubya said on his third track "2 Black 4 Da White House." Oh, sorry, did I just delve into the alternate universe America I made up in my head again? Well, whatever, everything I've said here still stands.

Theory #2 - People think it's a Growing Pains reunion film.

This one is very possible. The American people like things that remind them of things they used to like even if they go take a good, hard look at the thing they used to like now and realize it was pure shit. For example, George Bush and George Bush II: Bush Harder. Anyway, due to this site's almost disgustingly popular popularity, I can put this one to a stop right now by explaining that The Growing Pains Movie aired on television, where it belongs and can never escape from, back in 2000, and they did another fucking one or something in 2004, I dunno, whatever.

Get it? They're supposed to be on fire.

Theory #3 - Everyone in the US is Christian. And has really bad taste in movies.

This one's probably accurate, but I don't really want to admit it. This is the same reason The Passion of The Christ was a box office success (also because we're sadists and like movies like Saw and Saw XXIV - You Got Sawed) and the same reason we'll never have a (half-)black president. Yes, Barack is Christian, but he's not Christian enough. Everyone knows real Christians burn easily and have no sense of rhythm. It's commandment #12 - Thou Might Be a Redneck.

On a side note: Religulous, a blatantly anti-religion movie also just came out. If this one rockets up to the top of the box office as well it means that NOTHING IN AMERICA MAKES ANY SENSE.

Theory #4 - There's nothing else out in theaters at the moment that's worth seeing

I'm going to try to give America the benefit of the doubt here and say that this is a big factor. According to RottenTomatoes.com, all of the nationwide released movies we have the option of seeing right now are pretty abysmally awful. I mean, for Fireproof's sake, Eagle Eye, a movie about being ordered to do stuff over your cell phone by a woman who isn't your wife (FUCKIN' ZING!!!!) is #1. I'd probably go see the star of Growing Pains pretending to be able to star in a movie, sorry I mean pretending to be a firefighter, over that piece of junk. What, like I'm gonna go see Igor? Or some religious shit without fire in it by Tyler Perry? Fireproof is actually the top-rated movie amongst all of these bad ones. It's still got a bad rating, it's just not as bad.

But, wait! Actually, there's still one movie with a decent rating awash in a sea of shit cinema: Burn After Reading. I've not seen it, but I imagine it'd be pretty okay, right? I can't account for the fact that Fireproof is literally just beating it out, but, oh wait, yes I can. Clearly people are afraid of the burning in Burn After Reading so they're going to Fireproof beforehand to prepare. These write themselves, folks.

Theory #5 - We're all pretty sure the rapture's coming.

This is probably most likely. Our economy is on the brink of ka-splorgsh, the sea has forgotten its manners and has started belting out massive farts, and we're getting a black president or another republican so, either way, it pretty much means the apocalypse. This theory doesn't rely on whether or not people are Christian because, when doom is on the horizon, a lot of us manage to find religion we didn't know we had in us and take the quickest route possible to redemption. Luckily, Kirky Boy and friends have handed us salvation on a fireproof platter in the cinema. Every $10 (or, what is it with the inflation now, $30?) ticket you pay for is basically like placing some cash right into the hot hand of St. Peter, the maitre d' of the Applebee's that is Heaven. Yes, you could also rent one of the Left Behind movies, but God sort of feels like you're phoning it in when you rent His movies on DVD, so it's best if you go see one in the theater.


CONCLUSION: Fireproof is in the top five at the box office because the world is going to end.


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