October 2, 2011
MOVIES: "COURAGEOUS" (SHORT REVIEW)
You can search for my longer review AND review of the screening on my blog!
“Courageous” is the much-anticipated movie on fatherhood by the same people who gave us “Fireproof.” (“Fireproof” is the story of a fireman whose marriage is on the rocks, in part due to his internet porn use, and what happens from there. It was the #1 independent film of 2008. With its tie-in printed resource components like “The Love Dare Book,” the film impacted thousands of real life marriages.) “Courageous” was well worth the wait, and will doubtless do the same to strengthen fathers in their oh-so-vital vocation.
“Sherwood Pictures” (a ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia) is behind these two great films. They are two of the most “Theology of the Body” films out there, and I’m sure Blessed John Paul II the Great is smiling on them from glory.
“Courageous” is about four policemen, their families, and what being a father means.
“Honor begins at home” is the film’s short, sweet and apt tagline. Cops are about serving, protecting, honoring, right? Guys are about serving, protecting, honoring, right? And there’s lots of wonderful and needed ways they do that outside the home, often for the sake of home, but there’s no place like home to do it. So many things pull men away from home: work, demanding work, overtime work, wars, travel, hobbies, volunteer/charitable work, even church work. So many men are tempted to measure their worth and success by the external benchmarks, accolades, promotions and achievements outside the home, but, really? A man’s home is his castle. Everyone’s first vocation is to love their families. Our greatest bragging rights should always be about our particular vocation to love, our particular way of loving (married, single, priesthood, religious life). When people ask us what we “do,” we should talk about our vocations, our families first, what we “are,” before what we “do.”
The stories, struggles, tragedies and joys in “Courageous” ring true, and the acting is superb. Sherwood Pictures also has a way with tense action scenes. There’s just enough about and for women in “Courageous” as well. Young single men leaving screenings of “Courageous” have written on their surveys that they never really thought seriously about fatherhood before, but now they are looking forward to being good fathers! Sherwood Pictures doesn’t call their films “message” films (a Hollywood no-no) but “take action” films. Hear, hear!
“Courageous” asks the question: “How do we do fatherhood? Who are our role models for it?” Here’s another possible tagline for “Courageous”: “Think fathers are important? So does ‘Courageous.’”