Five Feet Apart Movie Review

Amanda Wampler, Staff Reporter

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Throughout my years of being a movie fanatic, I have seen a mix of well-made and cheesy movies. Five Feet Apart, a new teen romance, falls into the latter category. As much as I loved watching with movies like The Fault in our Stars and Everything, Everything with my close friends, the “girl meets boy” and sad romance plot has been overplayed, especially when one (or both) of the main characters are dying. Though Five Feet Apart realistically portrays Cystic Fibrosis and has redeemable qualities, there were issues regarding the script.

The movie is centered around teens Stella and Will, both patients with Cystic Fibrosis. The two characters, portrayed by Haley Lu Richardson and Cole Sprouse, both have different outlooks on life. Stella is fighting to stay alive by following all the rules and following her medical regime to the T. Will does not care as much. His outlook is that he will die anyway, so there is no need to try so hard. Poe, another patient in the hospital wing, is the voice of reason for this film. His lighthearted nature makes him the most lovable character. As the movie progresses, Will and Stella form a deeper relationship by taking their regime together and holding each other accountable. They even stretch the rule that states patients must stay six feet apart, and they decide five feet is enough.

There are some moments that are unexpected and give viewers the hope of a deeper plot line, but it is generally full of cheesy lines and predictable endings. It was hard watching a movie that is supposed to be relatable but comes off like it is trying too hard. The character Stella is one of the best parts of the film. Her character has a dynamic past and view on life, and actress Haley Lu Richardson portrayed her well. Her love interest, however, has the same uncaring look on life that most male love interests have.

Even if the romance is not the best part of the plot, one major factor that saved this movie was the accurate depiction of Cystic Fibrosis (CF). After reading countless articles by people who have CF, I noticed that a lot of time went into creating an accurate portrayal of CF. I learned that director Justin Baldoni met a girl while filming his documentary My Last Days who told him about her CF and how she had to stay six feet apart. The girl, Claire Wineland, inspired the film. The intentions behind the movie, while pure, come off as another romanticization of an important illness.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying a cheesy romance: they have always been a guilty pleasure of mine. Sophomore Anna Stanton saw the movie and said, “I really enjoyed the movie and thought all the characters were really great and relatable. I thought the romance was really cute.” For lovers of sweet romances with a hint of drama, Five Feet Apart is definitely one to see. For others, however, maybe save the movie ticket money.

 

Juniors Hallie Ward and Jocelyn Flora attempt to stay five feet apart from each other while in the library.