CF Patients have a teary and flimsy forbidden love story
I have respect for sick patients, I really do. But I also have to be the film critic in these cases. “Five Feet Apart” wants to spread the word of Cystic Fibrosis, better known as CF, but it also wants to be a teen love story. Not that there’s anything wrong with that type of genre.
Teen love stories these days tend to be flimsy, depending on their choices and direction. Some fail miserably (“The Best of Me,” or “Safe Haven”), others I’ve skipped (“The Space Between Us,” and the last 2 “Fifty Shades of Grey” movies), and some I’ve enjoyed (“Love, Simon”). “Five Feet Apart” gave me some tears in my eyes mainly because of the true emotions aimed against CF, but somehow, it has to be typical.
Haley Lu Richardson (“The Edge of Seventeen,” “Split”) stars as Stella, a young girl with CF, who wants to survive by following a strict regiment. In the hospital, she meets Will (Cole Sprouse, one of the twins from “Big Daddy” and TV’s “Riverdale”), another patient, who would rather die than to be subjected to medication and treatments.
She wants to help him get through his drug treatment, and they start to fall for each other. What wouldn’t be a teen drama without romance? But there’s a catch, they have to be six feet apart from each other, because they could catch each other’s disease, which could be fatal. So, Stella decides to reduce the distance to five feet apart with a pool cue, and Will accepts.
Also in the film is a Gay CF patient named Poe (Moises Arias), who can’t commit to any male relationship, based on his disease and courage. And struggling to gain any sense in the two would-be lovers is the nurse Barb (Kimberley Herbert Gregory), who doesn’t want them to end up like her last two patients.
The times I’ve gotten annoyed with “Five Feet Apart” is the negative dialogue that pops up every now and then. There are certain lines I didn’t like to hear, and it all depends on the characters’ tone of voice.
And also there is a final scene that I felt was a little lousy. I assume that was either an attempt to save a life or to make the movie longer. Doesn’t matter, it just had to happen.
The movie offers fine performances from Richardson, Sprouse, and Arias. All of them struggle to ease their emotions, when it comes to this disease. I’m not too familiar with it, but I can imagine the pain and sorrow. Oh, who am I kidding. I don’t know what it feels like, but I would like to show empathy for anyone who has it.
“Five Feet Apart” has tears, but it’s not the kind of movie I’d want to see again and again. Don’t we have enough negativity in this world?