Five feet apart will leave you in tears this Valentine’s Day

Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons License

Winning the People’s Choice Award for Drama Movie Star of the Year, Cole Sprouse who plays Will Newman in the film proves the success of Five Feet Apart. In addition, the movie made about $91.5 million, making it one of the biggest box office films of 2019.

By: Sarah Quiceno, Reporter

Five Feet Apart is a romantic drama film directed by actor, producer, and director Justin Baldoni, and was his first directed film. It was released on March 7, 2019 and stars actress Haley Lu Richardson, who plays Stella, and actor Cole Sprouse, who plays Will. In addition, the movie is one hour and 57 minutes long.

The film is inspired by the real story of Claire Wineland, who like Stella in the movie, is born with cystic fibrosis and had to overcome many obstacles because of it throughout her teen years. Wineland used social media to document her journey with the world, which can also be seen in the film.


The film begins by introducing 17 year old Stella Grant who has lived with cystic fibrosis all her life. She goes back to the hospital to receive treatments and sees her best friend, Poe. Poe is another cystic fibrosis patient and is played by actor Moises Arias. She also meets another CF patient, Will Newman, who becomes her love interest.

Will, unlike Stella, slacks when it comes to taking his medications responsibly. He only seems to be getting sicker the longer he waits on a lung transplant, which Stella is also on the list for. All CF patients know that to prevent cross infection they need to stay at least 5 feet from one another. As Will and Stella’s forbidden love grows stronger, so do their desires to break this rule.

The value of physical touch between loved ones is a constant battle for Stella. It is also a recurring theme in the movie. In the end, their love turns out to not be enough to keep each other safe. The two are forced to go their separate ways to keep each other alive.


This movie is one I can consistently watch and always know I’ll always end up crying. The anticipation of Stella and Will’s love to take the next step, but it being impossible because they are forbidden to touch, makes me realize how much we all take for granted. Being able to touch ones you love seems like no big deal to the majority.  For CF patients, though, touching one another seems like nothing but a fantasy.

The movie does a great job of developing a love connection with no physical contact. This can’t be said about most other romance movies, which makes it unique. The fact that it’s based on a true story and has a more tragic ending makes it even more heartbreaking to watch.

All of the actors in the movie also do a fantastic job of bringing to life their characters. Since the movie entirely takes place in a hospital, it’s interesting how the film does a good job at informing viewers on what CF patients lives in the hospital may consist of.  This includes the addition of some of the medical terms and seeing what CF patients go through when it comes to taking their medications and living in hospitals as teenagers.  You can definitely tell the producers did their research on the illness.


The movie contains an eye-opening theme that expresses the importance of living in the moment. In the end, we are all going to die, but like Stella convinces all viewers, we should take every opportunity to live our lives to the fullest while we can. Because Stella and Will couldn’t touch, Stella makes sure to let everyone know the importance of  expressing  physical gratitude towards others while we’re able. The idea of hope and faith is also portrayed through Stella’s mindset throughout the film. She never let herself give up when things got rough, and I think that’s something to be admired.

Overall, I’d give Five Feet Apart a 9 tissues boxes out of 10. The ending never fails to make me cry and is truly heartbreaking. The film isn’t your typical boy meets girl and falls in love and is low on the cliche scale. It gets a two out of 10 on the cheesiness scale. The movie, as it’s categorized as a romance drama, doesn’t have many comedic scenes. It can still definitely make you laugh at moments, though, with the lightheartedness of the characters at times. I give the film a 5 out of 10 laughs. All in all, I highly recommend Five Feet Apart to anyone in need of a romance movie this upcoming Valentine’s day. It’s sure to make you cry and is a must watch film!