Five Feet Apart

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Five Feet Apart

Alexia Christison, Staff Writer

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“Five Feet Apart” is a PG-13 film that was released on March 15, 2019. This movie features a well-known cast, including Cole Sprouse (Will Newman), Haley Lu Richardson (Stella Grant), and Moises Arias (Poe) (“Five Feet Apart”). The film takes place in a hospital where Stella, Will, and Poe are being treated for cystic fibrosis. It is a hereditary, genetic condition that destroys the protein in the infected patient’s body (Henderson). This causes a significant amount of damage to the organs inside of their body, especially the lungs and pancreas (Henderson). This can be dangerous for the patients and cause them to be subject to a life in the hospital while constantly taking treatments to try to recover. Many patients also fear the outcome of standing too close to another CF patient in fear of cross infection.  For the most part, in the movie, Stella lived a fairly controlled lifestyle. She spends a lot of time on the computer communicating with her friends, including Poe who is in the same hospital fighting against CF. She meets Will Newman, who is also undergoing treatment to better control his diagnosis. Will’s infection is much more intense than Stella’s and their connection can be a risk to Will’s safety and jeopardize his treatment (“Five Feet Apart”).

Cystic fibrosis patients are not allowed to be closer than six feet from each other to ensure they don’t worsen each other’s condition. By breathing the same air, CF patients are risking spreading different types of infection to each other’s lungs. This process is called cross infection and it can result in the death of a CF patient if he or she doesn’t keep the recommended amount of distance from each other (Henderson). Cystic fibrosis patients cannot transmit their disease to individuals who were not born with the disease, but those who do have the condition will be worsened by coming in too close of contact with another patient (Livingston). The title brings some foreshadowing to the film Five Feet Apart since the recommended length is six feet. It has been given an 80% like review on Rotten Tomatoes (“Five Feet Apart”) and a ⅗ by Common Sense Media, who appreciated the awareness raised for the over 30,000 people affected by cystic fibrosis in the United States (Chen). 

The movie shows the struggles of cystic fibrosis patients and the risk factors associated with their disease. There are two major heartbreaks during the movie that will tug at the audience’s heartstrings so don’t forget the tissues. There was a special twist in the film that changes the entire dynamic of the movie by quickly spiraling into a dramatic tragedy. It is a heartbreaking depiction of the world that we live in today and it sheds a much needed light on the terrifying reality of the disease and how it impacts those who endure it. This film helps to educate the public on cystic fibrosis and how it affects the body of the individual with the disease while also showing how it controls most of one’s daily life.


Works Cited

Chen, S. “Five Feet Apart.” Common sense media, Accessed 5 April 2019.

“Five Feet Apart.” Rotten Tomatoes, Accessed 5 April 2019.

Henderson, W. (2017). “The Danger of Cross Infections for those living with Cystic Fibrosis.” Cystic Fibrosis News Today, Accessed 5 April 2019.

Livingston, Jr. F. (2014). “Cystic Fibrosis.” Teens Health from Nemours, Accessed 5 April 2019.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources. “Cystic Fibrosis: Also known as CF.” National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Accessed 5 April 2019.