We watched this movie at a dinner party for our small group from our church. As soon as I heard of the movie I knew that it was definitely one I wanted to see. We almost went and saw it in the theater, but decided to wait until it came out on DVD.
First an observation about the movie and where it fits in the world. The movie very clearly and unapologetically carries Christian under/overtones. On IMDB there is a rating system that relies on user votes, and not surprisingly there is huge spike at either end of the scale--1 out of 10 stars and 10 out of 10 stars. Obviously the movie contains some pretty controversial content.
The movie gains the viewer an inside look at the Holt marriage, and frankly it's not a pretty picture. Caleb Holt, played by Kirk Cameron, is hot headed, selfish, and unappreciative. His marriage is in shambles, and all he can say is it isn't all his fault. His wife, played by Erin Bethea, is bitter and at the end of her rope. She's sure that their marriage is over and flirts with the shady line of an affair. Enter the Love Dare and watch the fireworks fly...
This movie was important for me to see. My marriage isn't as healthy as it could be, as hard as that is to admit. We struggle sometimes. And Kirk Cameron echoed some of the things that come out of my mouth on a regular basis when we fight. It is an ugly experience watching the very worst of yourself on screen. It's tough to sit passively in a group of people when you're afraid someone might recognize you on screen.
That being said, as good as the story is, the acting was abysmal. Terrible. Awful. I've seen after-school specials with better acting. The acting was forced, preachy, clunky. It was demeaning in the sense that clearly the writers/producers/actors thought we, the audience, were too stupid to pick up on subtlety. So to be sure we didn't miss the message, they lit it up in Vegas style neon, but without the style.
But. I'm going to recommend that you see the film, especially if you are married. Even if you think you're about to be divorced. ESPECIALLY if you're about to be divorced. It's an important message--heaven knows this country's marriages need any help they can get.
Even if it comes in the form of the proverbial sledgehammer to the noggin.
Overall I give the message an A, the acting a D-.