FIVE FEET APART
Haley Lu Richardson- Stella
Cole Sprouse- Will
Moises Arias- Poe
Kimberly Herbert Gregory- Nurse Barb
Haley Lu Richardson finds love at a distance in the new romantic drama “Five Feet Apart”.
Stella is a high school student that has spent most of her life in and out of hospitals battling Cystic Fibrosis. Stella is defined by her OCD mentality and her regimented treatment of her disease which she documents on her you tube channel. Poe, another patient battling CF, has know Stella since they were 7 years old and its like a homecoming when either checks back into the hospital for a “tune-up”.
This time there is a new patient named Will, another CF’er (name given to Cystic Fibrosis patients) that is in for an experimental treatment for a difficult bacterium that makes his CF inoperable. Will doesn’t share Stella’s discipline or positive attitude about their disease, having him angry, sarcastic and drawing most days and not doing his regiment of medications. This won’t sit with Stella who reminds Will that his treatment can help all of them, so he agrees to take his treatment seriously if Stella will let him sketch her. She agrees and the two kick off a friendship that nurse Barb feels can jeopardize both of their lives.
Cystic Fibrosis is a bacterium that floods the lungs with mucus and must be medicated and purged with breathing exercises until a lung transplant can happen. The transplant only gives the CF patient about 10 years before they go through the process again. Cystic Fibrosis patients can spread their bacteria between other CF patients by tough or through the air, so they are required to wear gloves, masks and keep 6 feet apart because bacteria can travel five feet when coughed.
If Will would infect Stella with his bacteria, she would lose any chance of a lung transplant and could be fatal for both of them. Stella and Will refuse to mind Nurse Barb and secretly meet carrying a 5 foot pool cue to measure the 5 foot distance they must maintain. Stella claimed she was taking back a foot because the disease has taken so much from her. As Will and Stella begin to fall in love, the self control and 5-foot rule begins to be broken. Nurse Barb discovers a secret party that Poe and Stella threw for Will’s 18th birthday and blows her lid. Will makes a wish that they are all together for his next birthday, a wish that was short lived. Barb tells Stella that she is transferring Will to another hospital for both of their own good. During the fall out Poe’s lungs fail and he crashes. The doctors and nurse Bard try to resuscitate Poe but his lungs are too far gone and he dies in front of Stella.
She is devastated that her best friend is gone and she wrecks her room and emerges with a new found attitude. Stella tells Will that, “ I have ben living for my regiment instead of doing my regiment so I can live!” Stella tells Will she is walking through the snow to see the Christmas lights in the park and he can come or not. Stella risk her health and it turns out new lungs being flown in for her transplant by leaving the hospital on her and Will’s trip.
Five Feet Apart is a sappy love story in the style of films like “A Walk To Remember” and “The Fault in Our Stars”, having two teens in love but kept apart for their own good. I was surprised by the acting talent of the kids (Richardson, Sprouse and Arias) coming from mostly television work, they excelled and sold us on their characters along with Gregory’s Nurse Barb that watches over them like a mother hen. That being said 5Ft. is not the perfect love story, it drags in parts and is about 20 minutes too long.
I would definitely recommend this as a bargain matinee “date” film for the couple that like sappy love stories.
Flickanalysis Rating: 3/5 stars