The Movie That Is Leaving All Teenage Girls in Tears: ‘Five Feet Apart’ Shows the Struggle for Love Between Teens With Cystic Fibrosis

High schoolers Stella Grant and Will Newman are fighting two battles throughout the movie

High schoolers Stella Grant and Will Newman are fighting two battles throughout the movie "Five Feet Apart": their love for each other and cystic fibrosis.

Anna McClow, Assistant Editor

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“Five Feet Apart” now allows me to say that I have officially cried while watching a movie in a movie theater. I have never felt so many emotions when watching a movie before.

High schooler Stella Grant (Haley Lu Richardson) has been in hospitals ever since she was 11 years old. She is a girl that is desperate to live when she knows that she is going to die.

The only thing standing in her way: a rare condition called cystic fibrosis (CF).

Cystic fibrosis is a rare lung condition that is typically inherited and life-threatening that damages the lungs and digestive system. It affects the cells that produce mucus, sweat, and digestive juices. The fluids in these cells become thick and sticky, causing the mucus to plug up tubes, ducts, and passageways.

Grant uses social media to vlog about her life with CF, and communicates to people how it affects her life.

Soon after Grant’s treatments get more intense, high schooler Will Newman (Cole Sprouse) arrives at Saint Grace Regional Hospital in Seattle, where Grant is living. He is participating in a new drug trial for a rare bacteria in his lungs called B. cepacia. Unlike Grant, Newman doesn’t want to live anymore.

Newman also has cystic fibrosis, and according to the rulebook, patients that have CF must stay six feet apart from other patients with CF. If not, they risk obtaining each other’s bacteria, causing a high risk of death.

At first glance, Grant is not impressed with Newman, thinking that he is all about jokes and that he isn’t serious about wanting to get better.

When I was watching this movie, I thought that Newman was not a nice guy either, just like Grant thought. Then I realized everything that he has gone through, and I started to fall in love with his character.

But after Grant offers to help organize Newman’s medicine cart, he finds the will to live, also leading him to fall in love with Grant more and more. Yet, they have to stay six feet apart from each other.

The romance between Grant and Newman involves late night dates behind Nurse Barb’s (Kimberly Hebert Gregory) back, and walking out beyond the hospital to see the city lights. The two also make snow angels together while on their date. I saw the romance start to bud when they were FaceTiming each other from their hospital rooms so they could take their medication together, and so that Grant could keep Newman in line.

When I saw the trailer to “Five Feet Apart,” which shows glimpses of Richardson and Sprouse’s budding romance, I knew that I wanted to see this movie.

Grant and Newman will risk anything to be with each other, even their lives. With help from Grant’s friend Poe (Moisés Arias), they work together to shrink the required distance. Grant says to Newman, “After all that CF has stolen from me, I don’t mind stealing something back. Three hundred four millimeters, twelve inches, one foot. Just one foot closer.” He uses a pool cue to keep them five feet apart instead of the required six.

This movie, which first appeared in theaters on Friday, March 15, is truly a heartbreaker. I do not typically cry when it comes to movies, especially if it is in the movie theater, but “Five Feet Apart” got to me. Sprouse and Richardson did an amazing job in this movie when it comes to portraying teens in love.

Something that I loved about this movie is the attention that it brought to CF patients. Because it is such a rare disease, it hasn’t gotten a lot of notice. There are approximately 30,000 people in the United States that have cystic fibrosis, and I believe that this movie has done those patients justice.

As of right now, cystic fibrosis does not have a cure, but the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s campaign is “we will not rest until we find a cure.”

“Five Feet Apart” is still in theaters, and it is definitely a must-see because of the acting and the awesome plot line. Even though this movie can get you teary-eyed, there are some nicely placed comedic moments throughout the movie.

With a surprising low score of 54% on Rotten Tomatoes, I believe that “Five Feet Apart” deserves a 9.5/10, making the movie worth watching.