It goes without saying that the overall generated impact for Five Feet Apart, has genuinely changed the point of view of Cystic Fibrosis from the point of view of general moviegoers everywhere. From the trailers airing back in 2018, and the official hype and release of the film, Five Feet Apart may go down in history as the most relevant mediocre film of the 2019. With it’s compelling subject matter, and duly intriguing premise, it’s almost a shame that the film turned out so over-melodramatic and cliched. Sure it’s cute, but please remember that no matter how adorable Haley Lu Richardson may be, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the film is going to good in terms of quality (speaking to you Edge Of Seventeen).
Teenage melodrama has never really peaked, and Five Feet Apart continues this dreadful trend, by continuously doing the opposite of subverting expectations. Albeit the film’s attempts at raw drama and chemistry, it all comes off as semi-artificial. Sure, some elements work, with some particularly genuine high stakes and life-altering motives which work within the context of the piece. However, the bland, nearly tasteless direction makes the experience of watching the film, incredibly lifeless. Which is incredibly strange, due to how compelling the subject at hand is.
It’s times like these where I would prefer a more tragic finale. Something raw and emotional, that can sway audiences away from the typical Hollywood schlock. A Romeo & Juliet travesty, which ends in sincere consequences and relatability to those who’ve experienced or known people who have experienced this deathly disease. A cold embrace between protagonists, a message that can transcend further than a happy ending. A real ending. An ending more likely to happen, an ending that can change the way audiences relate to characters normally.
Five Feet Apart had the full potential to be something different, Something new and raw, that even with some cliches and tropes inserted here and there, could have painted an intimate portrait of a loving couple, amidst life-altering consequences. While not all films could benefit from a different conclusion, Five Feet Apart had the willpower and strength to implode it’s audience with a powerful final gut punch. The cast was there, the romance was there, the location was there. However, what’s missing is ultimately farther than what the title of the film suggests. At the end of the day, Five Feet Apart will leave you hyper-ventilating for something more, something real.
Five Feet Apart Opens Nationwide March 15th