Cystic Fibrosis. A devastating disease that causes terrible and heartbreaking moments for anyone. It’s a life-threatening condition that destroys the lungs and digestive system, and can only be inherited.
That is the basis for this film. Three kids who have Cystic Fibrosis and try to live life as if there isn’t a chance they’ll die tomorrow.
Will, (Cole Sprouse) and Stella, (Haley Lu Richardson), along with their best friend Poe, (Moisés Arias), go out of their way to defy the odds and enjoy life for what it is, even if they’re all suffering from cystic fibrosis.
Stella and Poe have been friends for years and years, then they meet Will. The charismatic, sarcastic, dry Cystic Fibrosis patient that even though he has the opportunity of a lifetime to trial a new drug that could potentially save their lives, doesn’t care enough for life to stick to his regime.
At first Stella is frustrated because Will is throwing this opportunity away, even though he could give it to someone else but she ends up convincing him to try, on the premise she allows him to draw her.
After a while, they all get attached to each other and become the best of friends. Poe is funny, loveable and a great comedic aspect to this film, whereas Stella is the dramatic, control-freak who needs everything to be a certain way in order for her to cope. She also has a sort of charm that you wouldn’t expect.
When it comes to Cystic Fibrosis, there is one main rule all patients MUST follow, and that is to stay at least six feet apart at all times. But that isn’t the case in this movie.
While that is the rule for this movie and coming within six feet can cause cross-infection with bacteria spread, it isn’t what Will and Stella decide to do.
Throughout the film, both characters fall hopelessly, desperately, and irrevocably in love with each other and decide to break the rules. Stella finds a pool stick that is roughly five feet in length and gets Will to agree to a five feet apart rule.
After explaining that Cystic Fibrosis steals things from your life, Stella decides she wants to steal back one thing, a foot. Just one foot, so she can enjoy the company of her friends.
Bringing along a pool stick, much to the expense of their nurse and Poe, Will and Stella go on a date. They go wandering the hospital, to many different places, including the pool. At this destination, Stella and Will get as close to intimacy people with Cystic Fibrosis can get without causing a chance for death.
This isn’t the only thing they do against the nurse’s wishes, and in secret. The next day Poe and Stella plan a surprise party for Will with his friends on his birthday, which happens to be that day. Poe cooks a delicious meal and they celebrate with laughs, stories and photos until they get caught.
Throughout the rest of the film, there are major ups and downs. Stella becomes more carefree, Will learns to appreciate life more and everything in it, and Poe just keeps the story going as the upbeat, happy, go-lucky guy he is.
Justin Baldoni, (known as Raphael in Jane the Virgin), the director of this film, has stated that he knew a girl who had Cystic Fibrosis, and she lived life like there was no tomorrow. She was the inspiration for this film and for the character of Stella. Unfortunately she passed away before the release of the film. Her name was Claire Wineland.
Make sure you check out her YouTube channel for more information on her, as she did videos all the time just like the character of Stella. To spread the idea that sick people can be just as “happy and content with their lives as normal, healthy people,” even though it may suck sometimes.
This movie has highs and lows. For instance, a beautiful love story that moves in every which way, but the fault, they can’t come close enough to fully project the intensity of their love. From despair, to triumph, to laughter and love, this movie brings it all to the table. A beautiful, sappy, factual tearjerker that will have you reaching for the tissues.
As someone who loves movies like this, I understand why it would be recommended. But not everyone is like that and enjoys this kind of a film. Some people are more into Action and Horror, and that’s okay, but if you really want to understand the world of Cystic Fibrosis and how patients tend to cope, I highly recommend you step out of your comfort zone and sit down to experience this. Five Feet Apart – the desperately devastating, heartfelt and memorable experience.
Have you seen Five Feet Apart? What were your thoughts? Let us know by commenting below.
Written by Ashley Riordan