REVIEW: Five Feet Apart stirs mixed emotions

By Hannah Cho, Editor–

“Six feet apart at all times. You know the rules.” Nurse Barb gives them a skeptical glance before tending to her other caregiving duties.

But it’s too late. The two teens are already smitten.

Similar to “The Fault in Our Stars,” the newly released film “Five Feet Apart” unfolds a hot hospital romance between two teenagers–Stella (Haley Lu Richardson) and Will (Cole Sprouse)–who are both diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF).

We’ve seen stories like this before, in which two teens run into each other by incredible coincidence and inevitably fall in love, only to be teared apart by a disease that forbids their relationship.

Relevant to many teenage girls today, the movie introduces Stella as a cheerful, bubbly Youtube vlogger who tells the world about her CF treatments. Will, on the contrary, is a moody cartoon artist who’s sick of fighting the disease.

After a short, flirtatious encounter at the hospital, Stella and Will continue speaking, which turns into doing medical treatments together, which then turns into what everyone’s been waiting for: risking their lives to commit to a relationship.

CF patients would know that they’re supposed to stay several feet apart from each other to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. So nope, you won’t be seeing much PDA in this film.

The lack of sappy physical affection attempts to make the film slightly unique; somehow, Richardson’s adorable smile and Sprouse’s charming rhetoric are enough to tug at teens’ heartstrings.

Apart from a highly unorthodox romance, however, there isn’t much that makes the movie stand out. It’s a simple, cute cliché with a predictable ending.

That’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes it’s nice to feed our emotions and have a nice sob after watching a bittersweet teen romance. But “Five Feet Apart” isn’t the movie for you if you’re looking for substance and meaning.

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