Is five better than six? The Cystic Fibrosis community was furious that this movie is Five Feet Apart rather than the required six feet. CF patients are required to stay that far apart to avoid cross-contamination. To its credit, the movie explains this “mistake.”
Alternately informative and contrived, this movie is not yet rated by the Rotten Tomatoes critics. In fact, none of this weeks newbies (Wonder Park and Captive State) have early ratings. That usually does not bode well, and I fear this one may be eviscerated. I give this tear-jerker 3 Gavels, giving it credit for shining light on this monstrous disease.
Stella longs for love and the touch connected to love. She is compulsive about her meds and regimen, determined that she causes no further pain to her family. Will is fatalistic. Why comply if you just die soon, anyway? Of course, opposites attract, yet they can’t touch. Can you live life without love? But, what if that love causes you to die?
Haley Lu Richardson and Cole Sprouse have nice chemistry as Stella and Will. They could be the kids next door except for the unforgettable scars of CF. Remember Parminder Nagra from Bend It Like Beckham and ER? See her again as the CF specialist. Kimberly Hebert Gregory impresses as the nurse-enforcer.
For a movie that cost only $7 million and projected to recover that this weekend, Five Feet Apart just might eke out a profit. Expect to hear about B. Cepacia, a bacteria posing little risk to healthy folks, but highly resistant to most antibiotics, and potentially deadly to CF patients. As feared by the CF community, does this movie romanticize the disease? Not by a mile! No one would wish CF on anyone and, at times, the film is difficult to watch. Speaking of difficult to watch, I refer you to the movie’s climax. The writers/director put every possible cliched complication into the scene. And, don’t get me started on the worst snow you will ever see . . .