‘Five Feet Apart’ Review: Just Another Mediocre Hospital Romance

New YA drama is entertaining, but mostly predictable and cliché


Photo by CBS Films

"Five Feet Apart," released March 15th, 2019, had a budget of $7 million and made $33.3 million in the box office.

Natalie Pearson, Entertainment Editor

“Five Feet Apart” is a movie that, given its premise—two teens with the same terminal illness fall in love—could easily be compared to John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars.” Both stories deal with a romance between two people who know they’re dying and how that affects their relationship.

You could even say “Five Feet Apart” was trying to be the next “Fault in Our Stars”—which it was most definitely not. However, it has its own charm. It’s ultimately a cute, but average movie.

What sets “Five Feet Apart,” though, was its take on cystic fibrosis, and that’s what initially piqued my interest towards this movie. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder which causes a buildup of thick, sticky mucus in the lungs. CF causes ongoing lung infections and makes it difficult to breathe over time, and currently affects more than 30,000 Americans nationwide.

In the movie, Stella Grant (Haley Lu Richardson) is a CF patient who uses social media to cope with her disease and tries to live a normal life. She meets Will Newman (Cole Sprouse), another CF patient who is at the hospital for a medication trial, in an attempt to get rid of the bacterial infection in his lungs.

CF patients are strictly kept at least six feet apart—called the “six-foot rule”—to reduce the risk of cross-infection, hence the title. Stella wants to adhere strictly to the rule and initially dislikes Will for his carelessness. The pair grow closer, though, and fall in love. The title is a nod to their rebellion and them “stealing” one foot back. Thus, “Five Feet Apart.”

In the end, the general consensus is that this movie is utterly forgettable. It reads like an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and there is nothing of note to be said about the score. It’s essentially pop music you could set a montage to with some soft acoustic ballads sprinkled in.

I did find it enjoyable in the beginning and seeing the little parts of Stella and Will’s daily life at the hospital made me smile. It was clear that everyone involved worked hard on this production.

It was overshadowed by eye-rolling melodrama in the end though. There were more than a few scenes where I questioned their necessity, and the ending left me confused and wondering ‘What was that?’

The acting saves it from being a complete travesty, however. Haley Lu Richardson pulled off the uptight girl character exceptionally well, while also adding depth and humanity to her, which made Stella’s rebellion that much more satisfying. Cole Sprouse also excelled in his role, playing Will Newman, whose dark clothing style, sarcastic sense of humor and artistic ability made him similar to his character Jughead in the 2017 T.V. show “Riverdale.”

The side characters, also, made the hospital feel truly alive, such as Poe, Stella’s best friend, played by Moises Arias, and the strict but caring nurse Barb, played by Kimberly Hebert Gregory.

“Five Feet Apart,” with all of its pros and cons, ends up to be a wholly mediocre movie. It’s a good choice if you’re bored with absolutely nothing left to watch. But I suggest saving yourself the time (and money) and go watch an episode of “House” instead.


Natalie Pearson

Natalie became a member of the Flightline in August of 2017. She is a junior this year, involved in band. Outside of school, she enjoys watching movies and playing video games. You can email her at [email protected]