Five Feet Apart offers a true representation of life with cystic fibrosis


Jessica Joachim

Five Feet Apart featured a touching theme, exposing the relationships between those with cystic fibrosis, their families, and how it impacts their decisions. The movie brings awareness to the cystic fibrosis community and showcases an accurate depiction of how these individuals live.

Jessica Joachim, Reporter, Photographer

Upon initial viewing, Five Feet Apart seems like a typical teenage love story movie mirroring films including The Fault in Our Stars, Everything, Everything, and more recently, The Midnight Sun. However, this plotline with the forbidden lovers features a component absent in previous and similar movies—reality.

Two teens with cystic fibrosis (CF), disease-causing persistent lung infections that limit the ability to breathe over time, begin falling for each other, but quickly encounter an issue. They cannot come within five feet of each other, or the risk of bacteria can increase from the transfer of phlegm or saliva.

Claire Wineland, a CF patient, helped organize the production, making it as realistic as possible.

“Wineland was brought on as a consultant…[and]…worked with Richardson and Sprouse in perfecting their coughs and helped decorate Stella’s hospital room. Claire and Stella had similar chakra posters hanging in their rooms. Wineland also used her intimate knowledge of the disease to storyboard and brainstorm ideas with Baldoni and the movie’s writers, Tobias Iaconis and Mikki Daughtry,” writer the Refinery29 Elena Nicolaou said.

When the trailer for the movie came out, Youtubers including The Frey Life and Cystik1, individuals with cystic fibrosis, began reacting to the video. They shared their thoughts on the movie the possible attention it will bring to the CF community. After the movie, Youtuber Cystik1 shared an emotional response to the movie and recommended viewers watch it for its display of the sense of familiarity among patients with CF.

Five feet Apart steered away from focusing too much on the love story between Will and Stella and instead concentrated on cystic fibrosis as a disease and how it impacted their relationships. The pair face trials, but the movie manages to add humorous and touching moments between the characters in the film.

The unfortunate and sudden death of an unexpected character prompted tears among viewers as they watched the characters’ lives quickly change.

Five feet Apart defied the odds of a typical cheesy teenage love story and turned it into a lesson about life and living it to the fullest.  

The Chant’s Grade: A+