Starring Haley Lu Richardson and Cole Sprouse Five Feet Apart is the story of Stella (Richardson), a sufferer of cystic fibrosis who meets fellow sufferer Will (Sprouse). They spark a relationship but due to their disease, they can’t be close to each other. They have to stay six feet apart from each other so that they don’t catch the others diseases.
This, of course, makes for much sexual tension as these two quite quickly fall in love with each other. This is the sum total of the plot of Five Feet Apart. The whole film feels like a season of a CW show with each of them trying to figure out what they are going to do with this invisible barrier between them keeping them from living lives.
The premise is your usual YA film especially since I’m fairly certain in the last year or two we had a film similar to this thrust upon us. I believe it was called Everything, Everything and it followed a similar idea of the heroine or hero can’t be with their significant other because there’s a barrier of some kind in their way. Usually, it’s a disease that is the culprit.
With Five Feet Apart however they decide to double down on the disease with the majority of the cast having cystic fibrosis and the film being set in a hospital while the characters are being treated for their CB.
It’s a smart decision setting the film in the hospital and showing what goes on in Stella and Will’s life as they deal with their disease. It adds a layer of authenticity to the story. If I’m being honest though the film is a complete melodrama. Everything is high drama, world ending and over the top.
This would be a major complaint and I’d have far harsher comments to state except that Five Feet Apart knows its audience. It won’t be anyone over forty sitting down ready to watch this. No the audience for Five Feet Apart are the fans of Riverdale and Love, Simon. They are people who live day to day on the edge of their seats as they learn about who broke up with whom over the silliest of reasons.
Five Feet Apart is a film for this generation of teens and tweens and I have to give it due credit. This all boils down to the cast. Haley Lu Richardson is charming as Stella. She’s warm, welcoming and just a beacon of light that you just want to get to know. Cole Sprouse commands the screen with the effortless air of someone similar to a young Leonardo Dicaprio. If there were any doubts that he was a one trick pony with Riverdale his performance in this film will dispell any of that. He’s come along way since Ben from Friends.
Five Feet Apart is a good film. The story is filled with tropes that have become synonymous with this genre of film and it can be quite predictable as well. Thankfully though the incredible performances of the cast and the tearjerking soundtrack elevate it and I came out of the film satisfied.