Hit movie, Five Feet Apart, brings awareness to rare disease, cystic fibrosis

To appeal to younger audiences of the genetic disease, the film uses soft-hearted teen romance


CBS films

Cole Sprouse as Will in film adaptation, Five Feet Apart. (image from CBS films)

Avery Gregorash, A&E Editor

Heartthrobs Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson star in new romance film, Five Feet Apart, and they’re breaking audience’s hearts left and right.
Five Feet Apart is a fictional story based on two 17-year-olds with cystic fibrosis (CF). According to Medical News Today cystic fibrosis is a hereditary disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. This causes the body to produce excessive amounts of mucus that can coat and clog up the lungs. Patients with CF have to stay at least six feet apart from other CF patients or their bacteria could cross contaminate which could result in death.
Stella (Haley Lu Richardson) is a 17-year old girl who has been in and out of the hospital her whole life due to her disease. She’s always been a stickler for the rules until she meets the rebellious Will (Cole Sprouse). These two polar opposite teens feel a very rapid attraction to one another and continue to tempt fate through attempting to break the rules their diseases have placed on them.
Five Feet Apart racked in 13.3 million dollars and ranked number three in top box office right under Wonder Park and Captain Marvel.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is grateful that there’s finally a film that portrays the cruel world of the CF disease,
“We are hopeful that the movie will provide a positive opportunity to increase awareness of CF and the challenges people with CF face living with their disease,” said CFF.
The CF community has been commenting positively on the movie,
“It’s bittersweet, and hits home even harder with its dedication to real-life CF activist Claire Wineland, who passed away last year from complications following her lung transplant,”said Vice writer Kyle O’Tain who has lived his whole life with CF.
The film truly portrays the struggle that all CF patients have to go through, feeling so close to one another yet not being able to touch or get near one another without risk of cross contamination.
Just as Stella who used a YouTube channel to help spread awareness of CF, real life CF patient Ashley Wilson launched a YouTube channel to connect with other CF patients and she feels closer to other CF patients than she ever has before.
Five Feet Apart is causing audience members to gasp, yell and leave the theater crying. This movie is great if movie-goers are looking for a good cry and a mixed amount of emotions. However, movie goers looking for a lighthearted and fun loving movie should look elsewhere.