If there is even the most remote silver lining in the shocking recent death of actor Luke Perry at the young age of 52 due to a sudden stroke, it is that he didn’t know it was coming. Very suddenly, with no warning he got a very severe stroke, then went into a coma and never woke up. Perry did not have to endure years of agony, fear and operations followed by hope that things would get better only to get sick again and after years of suffering finally die. The fear of knowing that death may be coming can very often be worse than the disease itself.
Diseases like CF(Cystic Fibrosis) are the most insidious because it attacks young people and slowly kills you after years of suffering as mucus builds up in the lungs making it harder and harder to breathe. The new movie “Five Feet Apart” is about two teenage patients who have CF within a well told story that takes place entirely inside of a hospital. Then we all learn about all aspects of one of the worst diseases anyone can get in life. The only cure for CF is a lung transplant but even with that miracle surgery the average life span after the transplant is about 5 years.
The title “Five Feet Apart” is the distance that the 2 teenage CF patients played by Haley Lu Richardson as Stella and Cole Sprouse as Will have to stand apart, so they don’t give themselves an additional infection that would make their condition worse. Throughout the story there are new clinical trials that provide hope for all the patients with CF as the hope that maybe this time it will work and will be the miracle cure. This is followed by more fear and depression as another attempted clinical trial fails.
We have all seen tearjerker movies like this one, where one or both of the main characters have a terminal disease and fall in love. All films like this are very hard to watch, and this one is no different. The acting is well done, and the story while not a great one, is good enough to recommend. Movies like this along with a tragic celebrity death like Luke Perry temporarily knock us away from our life of habits and very often feeling sorry for ourselves over a bad relationship, money problems, a bad job or any number of other issues that are trivial when we compare it to something like this.
The Rotten Tomatoes rating for this movie are only 53% and I think this is way too low. My rating is around 75% for a solid, but depressing story about disease and real life.