Focus on the Family premiere of 'Irreplaceable' selling out around the country

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Movies,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Gay Marriage,Family Issues

"Irreplaceable," the pro-family movie that has a one-night-only showing tonight in 723 theaters, is selling out around the country, forcing some theaters to rent out competing movie halls and others to offer encore performances Thursday.

Producer Focus on the Family said their movie has sold out in St. Louis, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Colorado Springs, Colo., and several cities in California and Wisconsin, and required a second showing in over a dozen cities. It will be shown in Canada on Thursday.

Without preaching, the movie asks and answers a simple question: “What is family?”

It features a New Zealand dad, Tim Sisarich, who travels the world to answer the question. But instead of offering moralistic answers, Sisarich uses official figures from sources like the U.S. Census, Brookings Institution and others to show that nuclear families, and especially those with a father, have better lives.

It is accompanied by a “The Family Project,” a 12-session, DVD-based tool that digs deeper into the themes in the documentary.

It came under fire long before it was ready for theaters from liberal groups, who assumed that it would be anti-gay because the conservative Focus on the Family was behind it. But the film does not address the same-sex marriage issue.

Supporters said that the film tries to educate and inspire people on marriage by revealing statistics that show the benefits. For example, Sisarich takes his cameras into a prison to interview inmates about their family life, and most said that they had an abusive or absentee father.

A Washington premiere last week at the Heritage Foundation was expected to attract 50 conservative group executives. About 150 showed up.

The group Faith Driven Consumer gave the movie four of five stars and said, “Irreplaceable is a well-made film with high production values that encourages moviegoers to think about family and related issues in ways that ultimately point to God and His design for humanity. Tim Sisarich is engaging and effective in his role as narrator searching for the answers to deep questions that impact this generation and those to come.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.