Another story in which two terminally ill teenagers fall in love is included Five Feet Apart in the cinemas, which, unlike many similar stories, is not based on a novel. We reveal in our review how the tragic romance turned out.
The plot summary
Stella (Haley Lu Richardson) is a 17-year-old in the book: she doesn’t give up her smartphone and she loves chatting with her friends. She doesn’t have any room to dream because, unlike normal teenagers, she spends most of her time in the hospital under close observation. Stella suffers from the incurable hereditary disease cystic fibrosis and her most important rule is: Do not come closer than 4 steps to any other patient, because they could weaken you with their bacteria and, in the worst case, kill you. But when she meets the charming Will (Cole Sprouse), who repeatedly rebels against his treatment, things crackle between them so much that Stella finds it increasingly difficult to maintain the prescribed safety distance. With her at his side, Will seems to be getting back into life, even if the invisible wall between them can hardly withstand her temptation. How can Stella save her love when even the slightest touch would put both of their lives in danger?
Five Feet Apart Movie Meaning & ending
After the groundbreaking success of the novel adaptation “Fate is a lousy traitor”, books in the sub-subgenre ‘teen drama, in which at least one main character suffers from a serious illness or has to deal with a tragic stroke of fate’, were filmed up and down. “Five Feet Apart”, the directorial debut of “Jane the Virgin” series star Justin Baldoni, follows exactly the same line five years after John Boone’s surprise hit, and is different from “You Beside Me”, “A Whole Six Months” or “If I stay” but not an adaptation of a novel, but material developed especially for the screen. Responsible for this are the two newcomers Mikki Daughty and Tobias Iaconis, who have so far only written one other script with their script for “Llorona’s Curse”. While the two of them clearly followed the unwritten rules of horror films in the “Conjuring” spin-off, with “Five Feet Apart” they temporarily try to do exactly the opposite; namely, turning what is expected on its head. But it didn’t really work out. Because while the makers are able to skillfully balance credibility and theatrical kitsch for half of the running time, they throw the built-up emotional power of their film overboard with a single and unfortunately not exactly short scene, so that what ends up being a long, really good film ends up being really good turned out to be just an okay film.
Stella (Haley Lu Richardson) and Will (Cole Sprouse) get closer, even though they aren’t supposed to…
The title Five Feet Apart already anticipates a crucial development in the film, because if you know that Stella and Will actually have to stay four steps away from other cystic fibrosis patients, then one step less than this guideline – in the truest sense of the word – indicates the direction in which the film will later go. Until this first literal step towards touching, maybe even kissing (?) is taken, everything depends on the stunning chemistry between Haley Lu Richardson (“Split”)Moises Arias (“Ender’s Game – The Big Game”) as her gay best friend, who always has a casual line on his lips, and Cole Sprouse (“Riverdale”), who, with his authentic acting, manages to quickly mutate from an arrogant prankster to a charming heartthrob. But Haley Lu Richardson is particularly adorable. Not only does it act absolutely naturally every second. She manages to move between extremes in a seemingly playful way. An emotional outburst of absolute sadness is taken away from her, as is the infatuation that is shown in small gestures. You have to, because otherwise you would hardly believe that her character still exudes such happiness even in the face of death. In addition, the script gives her enough scenes in which her fears and sadness can come to the fore. These three young actors are simply the ideal choice for Five Feet Apart.
The makers have also managed to balance the gap between their fairytale-like, dreamy romance and the horrors of everyday hospital life. Because of course it’s cute to watch the two teenagers Stella and Will as they fall in love with each other very tentatively at first and later more and more strongly – culminating in perhaps the best scene in the film, in which the two of them struggle to cope with scars and the consequences Treatments littered body show. But as is the case in real life, especially in a hospital ward for the seriously ill, reality always painfully brings them back down to earth. Be it because you regularly have to watch Stella regurgitate the mucus from her lungs, or because a dear friend dies on the ward due to his illness. Five Feet Apart is strongly reminiscent of the successful series “The Club of Red Ribbons,” which was also filmed for the cinema at the beginning of the year. In the award-winning novel adaptation, the audience also follows the young protagonists as they strive to live as normal a teenage life as possible despite their fate as seriously ill patients. This was lost a little in the film adaptation, but if you like the series, Five Feet Apart should be in the right place.
Nurse Barb (Kimberly Hebert Gregory) is skeptical about her young patients’ relationships.
At least until the makers trip themselves up in the last third of their film. Until then, it was the minimalist structure that was particularly convincing – the first two thirds of Five Feet Apart take place exclusively in the hospital and therefore take on almost chamber play-like features – but the story finally moves out of this pleasantly reduced setting and donates it two lovers take a romantic walk through the snow. Of course, this isn’t just a big mistake from a medical perspective (and is in stark contrast to how smart and mature the two main characters act most of the time). This decision is also anything but good for the film itself. We don’t want to give too much away at this point, as the part about the unauthorized excursion has a few surprises in store, but at least we have to judge this decision so harshly that it feels as if the director wanted it beforehand Let the kitsch that was so pleasantly restrained hit the viewer in full force. Unfortunately, the events that suddenly develop in quick succession just seem implausible and contrived – even if they ultimately ensure that the finale has a pleasantly bittersweet taste. And it’s not just the credibility of the story that suffers. In terms of staging, the desaturated, realistic colors in the down-to-earth hospital setting suddenly give way to exaggerated fairytale images – and the music really turns up the heat with its schmaltzy pop ballads. Everything could have been so beautiful…
Conclusion: Five Feet Apart has long been a youth drama driven by strong newcomers, which largely avoids kitsch in favor of real emotions. In the last half hour, director Justin Baldoni throws this reduced approach overboard and squeezes an extra portion of schmaltz into his film. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t recover from this.
Five Feet Apart can be seen in USA cinemas from June 20th.