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When Fathers Become 'Courageous'
Posted By Ken McIntyre On October 2, 2011 @ 3:36 pm In Featured | Comments Disabled
The critical importance of committed fatherhood to the well-being of children is the theme of “Courageous,”  the latest little faith-based movie that could from Georgia-based brothers Alex and Stephen Kendrick. The film made a strong beginning at hitting home: “Courageous” was Fandango’s weeklong king of advance ticket sales as it opened Friday on more than 1,150 screens. The movie is the fourth increasingly polished offering from the Kendrick brothers’ Sherwood Pictures, makers of the Christian-themed “Flywheel,” “Facing the Giants” and “Fireproof.” In “Courageous,” four sheriff’s deputies and an out-of-work carpenter must walk through personal crises  that convince them to up their games as fathers and husbands. In the case of one deputy (Alex Kendrick, also the director and co-writer), the turning point irrevocably rocks his small family. Jen Chaney of The Washington Post writes  in her “Celebritology” blog:
These films make a profit because they are made modestly, and speak (as well as market) to an audience that craves what they provide: movies about spiritual subjects that, for the most part, can be seen by audience members of numerous ages. … “Courageous” doesn’t need endorsements from film critics at major media outlets, nor does it need to spend millions of dollars on press tours and ad campaigns. It knows who its audience is and targets those people directly. Which—much as it may pain the movie-critic side of me to say this—is pretty smart.”
The viewer can tell a movie has a larger point to make when gang-initiation rites that foreshadow a climactic, deftly staged gunfight and chase are put into perspective by these lawmen, who cite national stats linking fatherlessness and juvenile arrests —and then wonder to what extent they truly are present in their own homes. For those familiar with it, the work on marriage and family of Robert Rector, Christine Kim and other Heritage experts  may come to mind as multiple plot threads on the consequences of absent fathers  play out. (And those not sure of the non-biblical data underlying the film will find FamilyFacts.org  an excellent starting point.) “Courageous” sounds a clear gospel message that will make some viewers uncomfortable, even snicker. But it also makes a dramatically satisfying case for the need for men of all (or no) faiths to step up and assume responsibility  for their actions. Here’s an opportunity to support that call—and perhaps prompt quality films from Hollywood that lift up marriage rather than put it down —by voting at the box office for “Courageous” over opening weekend or the next few days.
Update: “Courageous” surprised Hollywood insiders by scoring the biggest opening  of any of the weekend’s new movies. The film, made for $1 million, opened at No. 4 overall and claimed the fifth-best opening weekend of any previous “Christian” film — after “The Passion of the Christ” and the three “Narnia” films.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2011/10/02/when-fathers-become-courageous/
URLs in this post:
 “Courageous,”: https://email.heritage.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.courageousthemovie.com/
 must walk through personal crises: https://email.heritage.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9VT_NBIVfs
 writes: https://email.heritage.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/celebritology/post/courageous-the-movie-thats-leading-fandango-ticket-sales/2011/09/30/gIQAgaxgAL_blog.html
 national stats linking fatherlessness and juvenile arrests: https://email.heritage.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://familyfacts.org/briefs/26/marriage-and-family-as-deterrents-from-delinquency-violence-and-crime
 the work on marriage and family of Robert Rector, Christine Kim and other Heritage experts: https://email.heritage.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.heritage.org/Issues/Family-and-Marriage
 the consequences of absent fathers: https://email.heritage.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/06/Married-Fathers-Americas-Greatest-Weapon-Against-Child-Poverty
 FamilyFacts.org: https://email.heritage.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://familyfacts.org/
 to step up and assume responsibility: https://email.heritage.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.shopfamilylife.com/radio-offer.html
 lift up marriage rather than put it down: https://email.heritage.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/06/A-Marshall-Plan-for-Marriage-Rebuilding-Our-Shattered-Homes
 biggest opening: http://boxofficemojo.com/news/?id=3282&p=.htm
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