“Five Feet Apart” hits theatre’s and hearts of those with

Tea Wheat, Entertainment Writer

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On March 15, 2019, the film “Five Feet Apart” was released to theatres. This film stars Cole Sprouse, best known for his role as Cody on the Disney’s “The Suite Life of Zach and Cody,” and Hailey Lu Richardson, known for her role as Krista in the movie “The Edge of Seventeen.” Sprouse and Richardson both play teenagers who have cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis, sometimes known as CF, is a genetic disease that affects the lungs, pancreas and other organs. This disease causes the lungs to form thick mucus and causes many lung infections over the individual’s life span. Cystic fibrosis causes a shortened life span; in the United States the life expectancy for someone with cystic fibrosis is about 37 and a half years. There is currently no cure for cystic fibrosis, but foundations such as The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation/CF Foundation will not rest until there is a cure for those who suffer from cystic fibrosis.

“Five Feet Apart” is a movie about a teenage girl named Stella, who ends up having to go back to the hospital for a “tune-up” regarding her cystic fibrosis. We soon learn that Stella had been keeping a video diary on YouTube of her experiences with cystic fibrosis, when she begins vlogging with a familiar nurse to her, Nurse Barb. Not long after being at the hospital we learn that Stella’s close friend, Poe, is also staying at the hospital. Stella and Poe have known one another for what seems like forever, since they were 7-years-old.

While Stella is walking around the hospital one day to go and see the babies at the newborn intensive care unit (NICU), she sees a male with cystic fibrosis who she has not seen before. Though his friends are getting intimate on his hospital bed and she is instantly infuriated. After finding her way to the NICU to look at the newborns, this same male comes up into the NICU to speak to her. She addresses that he must be the kind of guy who breaks the rules to feel like he has control, to which he notes that she

isn’t wrong.

We soon learn that this male’s name is Will and that he is at the hospital as a drug-trial patient for a new cystic fibrosis medication. It is obvious that Stella and Will are interested in each other, though Barb is consistently reminding them of the rule – “six feet apart at all times.” This rule is in place for the safety of patients with cystic fibrosis, because if they are closer than six feet apart at any given moment there is a high probability of catching each other’s bacteria, which is a life-threatening situation.

“Five Feet Apart” follows Stella, Poe and Will’s journey while in the hospital, paying close attention to the developing romance between Stella and Will. As seen in an article by the Akron Beacon Journal, it has been noted that this film was not an accurate display of the medical side of cystic fibrosis, as patients are typically confined to their rooms unless with nursing staff. Though, cystic fibrosis patients, their families and staff were all very moved by this film, as it accurately displays the daily struggles that those with cystic fibrosis must encounter. Additionally, these medical staff members and family members are thankful for the public attention that this film is giving to cystic fibrosis. “Five Feet Apart” has been noted as a “tear-jerker,” but for all of the right reasons. This film covers so many heavy topics such as family, love and loss; that no matter who is watching there is something relatable.

“Five Feet Apart” is currently playing in theatres, and if you have not yet seen it I highly recommend this touching and heartwarming film.

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