Five Feet Apart Review: Another Cliche Teen Romance?

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Five Feet Apart Review: Another Cliche Teen Romance?

Credit: Pexels

Credit: Pexels

Credit: Pexels

Credit: Pexels

Lilac Lin

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Although most people are familiar with serious and life-threatening diseases such as cancer, few have heard of cystic fibrosis, a rare genetic lung disease that damages the lungs and the digestive system. In his new film Five Feet Apart, Justin Baldoni attempts to bring more awareness to those who are affected by this disease, being careful not to romanticize it.

Stella (Haley Lu Richardson) is a teenager with cystic fibrosis who has been in and out of hospitals all her life. When she first meets Will  (Cole Sprouse) a rebellious artist with an even more precarious version of the disease, their polar opposite personalities clash. Stella, being the obsessive-compulsive person that she is, tries to force Will into meticulously following his treatment. Throughout this process, the two begin to fall in love.

However, due to the possibility of cross-infection, they must remain at least six feet apart at all times. As they begin to bend the rules, Stella and Will start to use a pool cue to make dating easier and only stay five feet apart, hence the name of the film.

Even though the actors embodied their characters and the melancholy soundtrack built on the tone of the film, the plot of “star-crossed lovers” is definitely not a new idea, as it has shown up multiple times in similar films such as The Fault in Our Stars. “The concept of cystic fibrosis was super interesting, but they ruined it with the cliche plot,” Sarah Blum ’22 pointed out.

As the movie goes on, in order to compensate for the generic plot, traumatic events in Stella’s family, the death of her best friend, Poe (Moises Arias), and many other unlikely events are introduced to keep viewers invested, but they end up taking away focus from the main idea of the film.  

Even with its shortcomings, Five Feet Apart can still be an enjoyable sobfest for true romantics. So, load up on popcorn, call up some weepy friends, and go see Five Feet Apart today!