‘Five Feet Apart’ Portrays CF Struggle

Ashley Metzbower, Staff

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The newly released film Five Feet Apart, starring Cole Sprouse as Will Newman and Haley Lu Richardson as Stella Grant, is about two teenagers with cystic fibrosis who fall for each other.  

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening condition that causes damage to the lungs and digestive system. People with cystic fibrosis are not to get within six feet from one another because they could catch each other’s bacteria which could be deadly. 

In the main trailer, the song “Remind Me to Forget,” by Kygo and Miguel plays in the background. This song is about a relationship that doesn’t work out; it’s hard and they try to forget and let go. It shows the relationship between Stella and Will; they can’t be with each other and there’s nothing they can do about it, so they must let go. 

In the very beginning, Stella says, “We need that touch from the one we love almost as much as we need air to breathe. I never understood that until I couldn’t have his.” 

Hearing her then say it again at the end of the movie makes the audience more empathetic towards the two of them. 

Stella is introduced first in her hospital room at Saint Grace Regional Hospital, being shown as very social and bubbly, as she creates videos about life with cystic fibrosis. Then Will is shown as he’s moving into the same hospital for medical treatment in hopes to get rid of his bacterial infection. 

Will has a sort of negative attitude towards life and is rebellious because he believes he’s just going to die anyways, while Stella is very positive, although she’s dealt with a lot in her life, which the audience slowly figures out.  

They were able to create different personalities that makes people get attached to. 

After meeting, Stella encourages Will to do his treatments and suggests for them to do treatments together, so she knows he’s actually doing them.  

Being that the movie was dedicated to Claire Wineland, a young girl with CF that Director Justin Baldoni knew, they made the movie very realistic. Like real life, Stella got an infection from Will’s bacteria.  

The actors are very talented, showing genuine emotion between the two characters. There were parts where Stella would get upset like with the incident that happened with another patient with CF, who Stella had been friends with forever, Stella got upset, tore up her room, and pushed Will away, the audience could feel her hurt. 

The two characters get to know each other and become very fond of one another. This leads to them sneaking around and Stella begins to believe that being one foot closer to Will is worth the risk—five feet apart. 

During this part of the movie, the song, “Wait,” by M83 plays while she’s filming a video about stealing back the one foot. This song is about living in the moment because at any moment something can change; living life to the fullest, which is exactly what Stella tries to do. 

There are also songs like, “Don’t Give Up on Me,” by Andy Grammer, which is played during the end credits and is just saying to keep going even at the verge of giving up. 

The rest of the songs in the soundtrack fit perfectly in with the scene they are in and really bring out the emotions trying to be conveyed. 

Near the end of the film, something tragic happens to a friend of Stella’s which makes her a different outlook on her life, making her live her life more freely for one night. Both Stella and Will take risks that night. 

The ending scene will leave you wishing you had more tissues and someone to hold. 

After watching this last part though, it’s a little odd because so much happens in that one night, and one may not realize this, but the plot gets a little chaotic at the end. 

Overall though, not only was this a good, cry-worthy, romance movie, it also shows the struggles of living with CF and brings awareness to cystic fibrosis in addition.