Like, Five Feet Apart is not the worst proposal we’ve had in recent years, but it’s certainly not the best one either.
Films like Five Feet Apart, we’ve seen tons of them come to our screens in the last few years, starting with The Fault in Our Stars in 2014, which was a resounding success in the dark rooms. If the latter gave rise to raw emotions with his heart-wrenching subject and his very candid manner with which he was brought to the public, the youth works inspired by it certainly lack character and nuances. This is the case with this predictable and melodramatic Five Feet Apart.
This new feature film depicts the story of Stella, an optimistic and disciplined young woman with cystic fibrosis. If she doesn’t get a lung transplant soon, she will die. One day, she meets Will, a boy with the same disease as her. Since the risk of developing a bacterium is very high between two people with cystic fibrosis, they must stay at least six feet away from each other, But the two teenagers fall in love and have a hard time following the doctors’ instructions.
If this new film is not inspired by a novel for teenagers, like many others before him, it is not more original. The sentimental drama strives to make many connections between the idyll of Stella and Will and that of Romeo and Juliet. And some are much less subtle than others (see image below). This insistence on paying homage or pasticher to William Shakespeare even leads us to be momentarily disinterested in the love story lived by the two young protagonists.
There are also some narrative trails that are less believed. The characters sometimes make unreasonable gestures that do not fit the description we were previously given of them, starting with this fugue at dusk. Then, as if the fatal illness of which the two protagonists suffer was not sufficient, we are added tragedies around which add to the narrative.
Nevertheless, tears will certainly appear on your cheeks at some key moments of the film, perfectly orchestrated in order to play with the sensitive strings of the cinephiles. The young actors – Haley Lu Richardson, Cole Sprouse, Moises Arias – are doing quite well in the roles they have been assigned. The protagonist possesses such enthusiasm and optimism in the face of his dark destiny that one can only quickly become attached to it. Although Arias embodies here the prototype of the gay friend, one quickly passes over the cliché to be interested in what it hides behind this naughty smile.
Like, Five Feet Apart is not the worst proposal we’ve had in recent years, but it’s certainly not the best one either. William Shakespeare can sleep in peace, his classic is safe and sound.