“Five Feet Apart” is worth the tears


photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Cole Sprouse plays Will Newman in “Five Feet Apart,” directed by Justin Baldoni.

Irit Skulnik, Style Editor

“Five Feet Apart,” directed by Justin Baldoni, gives viewers a glance into the lives of protagonists Stella Grant, portrayed by Haley Lu Richardson, and Will Newman, portrayed by Cole Sprouse, both of who both struggle with cystic fibrosis. The blockbuster was released on March 15.

The tragic love story caters to its audience of primarily teenage viewers and reflects other popular love stories in which the characters face a life-threatening disease, such as “The Fault in Our Stars,” “Midnight Sun” and “Everything Everything.”

This particular movie follows the daily life of Grant who, in addition to having cystic fibrosis, suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Her daily routine consists of to-do lists and strictly following her medical regimen. Her life is dictated by order and rules until she meets Newman, who challenges the rules and possesses a more rebellious personality.

As soon as the pair meets, they have an instant flirtation. When Grant learns that Newman has not been following his medical regimen, she makes a deal with him that if he does it, he can draw a picture of her. He still struggles with following his regimen and Grant decides they should take their medications together.

Cystic fibrosis patients cannot be less than six feet apart because the cross-contamination of bacteria can be deadly. This rule challenges their relationship, but nevertheless, the pair gets closer.

After Newman learns about the death of Grant’s sister, Grant decides to take “one foot back” and she finds a pool cue that is five feet long the ends of which each of them will hold when they are together. She realizes cystic fibrosis has taken enough out of her life, and Grant feels empowered to steal one foot back.

The pair manages to have their first date in secret, as well as to have an impromptu birthday party for Newman. Later in the movie, Grant undergoes several difficult challenges that lead her to escape the hospital with Newman and go see the city lights.

This movie was quite the tearjerker. I went with a friend to see it, and by the end of it, both of us were sobbing in our seats. Richardson’s acting was excellent and she made the character of Grant truly come alive. I think she accurately portrayed the emotional struggles of a person with a life-threatening disorder, and her emotions came across as real and raw. Sprouse’s acting showed the audience what it means to risk everything for the person you love.

Overall, the movie was intriguing because it didn’t feel predictable, and I was never sure what would happen next. There were several cliffhangers that left me sitting on the edge of my seat and waiting in anticipation to see what would happen.

However, I did find some aspects of the movie disappointing such as the ending, and I think it could’ve been improved.
I recommend this movie to anyone who needs a good cry. The movie teaches a good lesson about how far you should go for the person you love, and whether you should risk your life to be with them. Overall, “Five Feet Apart” was definitely worth the watch.