Five Feet Apart encouraged viewers to not take simple pleasures for granted


We depend on our sense of touch for everything we do every day.

This review could not be completed without contact being made between my fingers and the keyboard keys on my laptop. Teeth could not be brushed without grasping a toothbrush. A shower could not be completed without gripping the shower handle to turn the water on. Doors could not open and clothes could not be put on without touch. Any item we come into contact with is clutched through touch. Our familiarity with the world is easily credited to our sense of touch.

So, what would we do if that ability was taken away and if we were forbidden to interact with the one thing or person we desperately wanted to?

This dilemma is what cystic fibrosis patients Stella and Will experience and fight to overcome throughout the movie Fight Feet Apart. Once simply acquaintances, a friendship sparks among Stella and Will once Will agrees to successfully conduct his daily medication routine if Stella allows him to draw her. Throughout the movie, their friendship develops into a relationship; however, since cystic fibrosis patients carry bacteria that has the ability to kill other cystic fibrosis patients, they are forced to remain six feet apart from each other at all times.

Along with their friend Poe who is another cystic fibrosis patient, Stella and Will experience conflict involving their differing approaches to life with the condition. Stella believes that she should follow her routine to a T, and Will believes that since his time alive is dwindling, he should experience life to its fullest. Fortunately, Stella and Will eventually are able to persuade each other to approach life differently, and they both begin to live spontaneously as well as safely.

The movie stars Haley Lu Richardson as Stella, Cole Sprouse as Will, and Moises Arias as Poe. The film was directed by Justin Baldoni, and a unique aspect of the film is that it consulted Claire’s Place Foundation—a charity that emotionally and financially supports families struggling with cystic fibrosis—to ensure authenticity and accuracy in the portrayal of the disease.

Easily, Five Feet Apart was able to evoke emotion from its audience, and the message the movie communicated through the plot was absolutely inspiring. Although Stella and Will could not physically touch each other, they discovered places they could go together and spent time with each other through that outlet. The movie ends with an inspirational, prolonged quote from Stella—whose message still occupies my mind five days after I viewed the movie. 

“We need that touch from the one we love almost as much as we need air to breathe. But, I never understood the importance of touch. His touch. Until I couldn’t have it. So, if you’re watching this, and you’re able, touch him. Touch her. Life’s too short to waste a second.”

This quote is also versatile since it does not just apply to a significant other. It encourages viewers to not take any person for granted, to fight for what they believe is worth it. Most importantly, the quote inspires viewers to investigate their own lives and finally resolve the problems that have been eating away at their happiness. Through a story of two dying teenagers who suffer constantly to survive, Five Feet Apart was able to humble viewers and make them feel guilty about the minor inconveniences they label as problems.

Overall, if you want to view a humbling, inspiring movie about teenagers hopelessly falling in love regardless of the circumstance they were put in, I would definitely recommend Five Feet Apart. Likewise, this movie is appealing if you desire to obtain further information on hereditary diseases such as cystic fibrosis; I was not aware of its existence until I watched this movie.

Finally, bring tissues. I recommend an entire box.