Five Feet Apart | Teen Ink

Five Feet Apart MAG

August 29, 2021
By katieko SILVER, East Brunswick, New Jersey
katieko SILVER, East Brunswick, New Jersey
5 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't give up on the person you're becoming"

In the mood for some tears? "Five Feet Apart" will definitely provide them. Justin Baldoni, well-known as the actor who plays Rafael in the hit TV series "Jane the Virgin," does an amazing job directing this movie. "Five Feet Apart" follows the story of Stella (Haley Lu Richardson), a patient with cystic fibrosis, a condition that causes severe problems to the lungs, creating trouble breathing.

We are introduced to many important people in Stella’s life including her best friend Poe (Moises Arias), her mother (Cynthia Evans), her father (Gary Weeks), and her sister (Sophia Bernard). We get to formally meet each of these characters except for her sister. Stella and her sister Abby were extremely close, but unfortunately Abby passed away after a tragic accident. Poe is another person who plays a very important role in Stella’s life. They spend a lot of time together in the hospital, and Poe’s energetic and outgoing personality keeps Stella laughing. Poe is also another CF patient, which means that he and Stella need to keep their six feet distance from each other at all times, or else they could catch a deadly infection from one another. As the movie goes on, we are introduced to another very important character – Will (Cole Sprouse).

Will is very different from Stella; he is not organized with his regime and medicine for CF at all. He is very carefree and does not take care of himself because he believes that he will die soon and accepts it for what it is. When Stella and Will first meet, is a lot of conflict due to their polar opposite personalities. But the more time they spend together, the more Will's feelings develop into something different; it is beautiful to watch. Stella and Will start doing their medication together, and build a strong relationship. Although the nurse at the hospital constantly reminds them to stay away from each other, Will and Stella can’t help but fall in love.

I like the way that Justin Baldoni not only addresses the physical obstacles that people with CF have to go through, but also the mental. All that Stella wants to do is give her best friend a hug or give her lover a kiss, but the result of that could be death. We see a very organized and put-together character go from staying in complete control of her life to having mental breakdowns at various points in the movie.

In addition, the casting in this movie was fabulous. Richardson and Sprouse deliver amazing performances, keeping the movie from being cheesy. The chemistry between them feels raw and real. The dialogue, unlike in other romance movies, is extremely natural and authentic.

The ending scene of this movie was extremely well done. With the dimmed lights in Stella’s hospital room and the warm lights outside contrasting the cool tones of the snow, the beautiful setting makes this final scene even harder to watch. I wish the movie did not stop at this point. While the audience is no doubt rooting for a happy ending, I understand the choice that Justin makes here – a happy ending for patients with CF is not completely realistic. Instead, Baldoni teaches us to be more grateful for the life that we have.

The author's comments:

"The plot is believable - right up to the heart-in-the-mouth turns near the end - and the dialogue sounds real. That is a good start in any movie, but in this case it powers on from there because of the A-grade performances of the two young leads." -Stephen Romei 

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