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“Fireproof” takes viewers on “an emotional journey” because it depicts imperfect people in authentic situations, says Mr. Kendrick. The firefighters motif is important, he adds, because their motto is that “you never leave your partner behind.”

Will this movie be successful, given its intense emotional subject matter and Christian overtones?

The sponsors think it will. Some 95 communities presold 1,000 tickets to the movie, say publicists Nancy Lovell and Julia Fairchild.

In addition, B&H Publishing Group says it has 300,000 pre-orders for “The Love Dare” book.

“Fireproofing” a marriage, the movie sponsors add as a final point, doesn’t mean a marriage won’t face burning flames and choking smoke. It means that when the fire comes, the marriage can withstand the heat and survive with its treasures intact.

Cheryl Wetzstein’s On the Family column runs Tuesdays and Sundays. She can be reached at