‘Five Feet Apart’ offers an emotional love story

April 5, 2019

Movies & More reviewer John Gillispie shares his thoughts on the movie “Five Feet Apart,” which is rated PG-13 and currently playing in theaters.

Two teenagers fall in love despite having to keep their distance from each other for medical reasons in “Five Feet Apart.”

Haley Lu Richardson stars as Stella, who is in the hospital for an extended stay for what she calls a “tune-up” for cystic fibrosis. Her best friend Poe (Moises Arias) is also in the hospital for cystic fibrosis treatment as he and Stella have known each other for years but have never been able to hug each other because they have to keep at least 6 feet away from each other at all times.

Barb (played well by Kimberly Hebert Gregory) is a caring health care professional who wants to make sure her patients are keeping up with their cystic fibrosis treatments and medications. She is also very strict about her patients keeping 6 feet away from each other since they could pass different bacteria to each other. We learn later in the movie why she is so passionate about insisting that her patients respect the required distance.

Will (Cole Sprouse of TV’s “Riverdale”) is taking part in a trial procedure for cystic fibrosis. Will likes Stella right away, but it takes a while before Stella warms up to him.

This movie’s title refers to the decision that Stella and Will make after they start to have feelings for each other to stay 5 feet apart instead of the required 6 feet.

“Five Feet Apart” is a sad movie, but it also offers some thoughts about love and friendship. At one point in the film, Stella realizes that she has been surviving to make it to her treatments to extend her life but that she doesn’t feel as if she has been truly experiencing life. Her feelings for Will make her decide to take more chances such as breaking the 6-feet rule, but the temptation for Stella and Will to have any sort of physical contact such as a first kiss could have serious health consequences.

I felt that “Five Feet Apart” was a film that evoked strong emotions and brought us into the world of two people facing challenging obstacles to falling in love.

John Gillispie is the public relations director for the Huntington Museum of Art.