5 stars for Five Feet Apart

Nicole Felici, Copy Editor

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People with Cystic Fibrosis are not allowed to be closer than six feet from each other. If this rule is broken, they could catch each other’s bacteria, which is highly dangerous. This is the life that Stella Grant (Haley Lu Richardson) and Will Newman (Cole Sprouse) have lived every day for their entire lives. Stella lives for her treatments, as she knows that they are the only thing keeping her alive. On the other hand, Will has accepted his imminent death and ignores his medical regimen.
The two meet when Stella discovers that Will is ignoring his treatments that help him fight CF. As a person who has clinical OCD, Stella is instantly bothered and manages to find a way for Will to take his medications. Will’s flirtation with Stella causes immediate chemistry, and soon enough the two begin to fall for each other. Unfortunately, as they both have CF, they know they will never be able to have a close physical relationship. Nevertheless, Will and Stella are determined to fight for their relationship, even if that means putting themselves in danger.
Will and Stella decide to maintain a distance of five feet apart instead of the standard distance of six feet. This idea of “one foot closer” is one of the best symbols in the movie. Will and Stella may not be able to touch each other, but the intimacy that lies in the one foot they take back is enormous.
Richardson and Sprouse’s performances, along with those from supporting actors, are absolutely heart-wrenching. They perfectly express the innate need for human touch that they are determined to satisfy in any way they are allowed. The realness of the acting reveals the struggles and challenges that come with having CF to people who were not previously aware of them.
Not only was the acting superb, but the pace and blocking of the movie were on point, allowing for a smooth cinematic experience. The rising action of the movie was paced well, allowing for viewers to see all the different aspects that affect people with CF.
Viewers are not stuck waiting for one central conflict to occur, but rather they are shown several minor conflicts regarding Will, Stella and their companions in the face of the overarching problem.
Five Feet Apart is not just another Everything, Everything or The Fault in Our Stars. Yes, the film is about sick teenagers who are in love. Nevertheless, the themes of intimacy and sacrifice along with amazing performance and cinematography make this movie a masterpiece.