“Five Feet Apart” Showcases A Unique Love Story On The Big Screen

Renee Abbott and Erin Foley

“Five Feet Apart,” released on March 15, has made $72.3 million dollars in box offices already and has captured the hearts of viewers everywhere, adults and teens alike. The movie, inspired by the 2018 book by Rachael Lippincott, focuses on 17-year-old Stella while she struggles with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and normal teenage relationships. The majority of the movie takes place in the hospital and features teen heartthrob Cole Sprouse and actress Haley Lu Richardson. “Five Feet Apart” is an emotional and heart-wrenching movie that will keep you wanting more.

Stella (Haley Lu Richardson) shares her battle with CF through vlogs on Youtube, and because of this modern touch, teens can relate to her character. Stella shares a humorous and heartfelt relationship with her best friend Poe (Moisés Arias) and falls for Will (Sprouse), a fellow Cystic Fibrosis patient. The couple struggles with the limitations of CF, as people with CF must stay at least six feet away from each other due to the deadly consequences of catching one another’s viruses. But, as the title implies, the pair decide to “take back one foot” after all CF has taken from them and risk the consequences of being slightly closer to each other. The idea of being physically close to the loved ones allows viewers to have a new perspective on what a relationship really means rather than other typical love stories.

After the hit film “The Fault in Our Stars” captured the hearts of teens, the release of another medical-inspired drama had a high expectation to meet. However, the movie stood alone as a powerful, personal portrayal of life with CF, a topic not discussed very often in pop culture. The main characters Stella, Poe and Will are all are unique, likeable and interesting. Will’s artistic abilities capture the heart of all the viewers with his romantic gestures, and Poe’s quirky and fun personality provides the comedic relief for such a difficult topic. In addition to tackling the issue of a chronic illness, this movie also sheds light on Stella’s struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as how she deals with grief.

A soundtrack by Brian Tyler captivates the viewers and draws them into the story. The music choices in the film also enhance the emotions conveyed, featuring artists including Andy Grammer, Daughter and Sleeping at Last.

The cast choice was excellent, and Richardson truly shined in her first mainstream leading role. In some scenes, the plot seemed slightly forced, such as a somewhat unrealistic accident in a frozen pond, as the story is already engaging enough that this drama seemed unnecessary to the story. The ending scene may also seem like a bit of a stretch to some, but the romantic gesture by Will satisfies viewers in the film’s conclusion.

The story is an already sad tale to begin with, but the brilliant music along with excellent casting truly made this movie a unique, sorrowful experience for viewers. Sprouse and Richardson excelled in an original film on a chronic illness.