“Five Feet Apart” has good concept, poor execution

By Dexter Tatsukawa and Pranavi Abburi

The romantic drama “Five Feet Apart” directed by Justin Baldoni has the framework of a deeply engaging plot but is unfortunately dragged down by its writing.

Courtesy of IMDb.

The movie follows the story of Stella (Haley Lu Richardson) and Will (Cole Sprouse), two patients who both have cystic fibrosis. The disease serves as the main source of conflict after Stella and Will fall in love but are forced to remain six feet apart due to risk of contagion as a result of their cystic fibrosis.

Although this basic plotline sounds promising for highlighting the tragedy of the Stella and Will’s love, the film fails to create very likeable characters to feel sad for.

Will, in particular, seems like a character that was written to be charmingly rebellious. Will comes off as plain obnoxious, because the people and rules that Will is rebelling against are only trying to help him.

In addition, many of the other characters lack personality and felt more like props than people. Fortunately, certain characters are significantly better written.

In particular, the characters Stella, Poe (Moisés Arias) and Nurse Barb (Kimberly Hébert Gregory) came off as people with real emotion and motivations that were much easier to sympathize with.

Another issue with “Five Feet Apart” are the scenes. Although the movie is somewhat based on a true story, that does not save it from being cliched.

Its entire premise is still two young teens trying to overcome their impossible love, a plot seen regularly since the days of Shakespeare. In addition, the movie also prefaces Will and Stella’s romance by first establishing how they possess opposite personalities, a dilemma that would seemingly make them extremely incompatible for one another, before then having them fall deeply in love.

In the end, “Five Feet Apart” is a decent movie which manages to tell a tragic love story. However,  it could have been better if more effort was invested in building the personalities of more characters and greatly deviating from the standard tropes of romantic dramas.