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Iqbaal Dhiafakhri Ramadhan,
Against the backdrop of high school football and track, two brothers in a small Southern town face escalating problems with two different world views, straining - but ultimately strengthening - the bonds of brotherhood.
Late Claire Wineland worked closely with lead actors Haley and Cole on perfecting the roles of cystic fibrosis patients. Claire died in September 2018 after experiencing a stroke right after a successful lungs transplant. See more »
I feel compelled to write this review for all of those guys who get dragged along to see some cheezy romance flick by the wife or girlfriend and can barely make it through without trying to duck into the adjacent theater for something action oriented.
That's how I ended up watching this, but honest-to-God . . . I have to give credit where credit is due. I'm usually so cynical about movies that seem so clearly intent on going straight for the heartstrings and forcing every girl in the audience to go for the emergency kleenex stash in the purse. I hate that feeling of being manipulated. "Five Feet Apart" actually works very well on all of the important levels. Cystic fibrosis is not a common disease, and I certainly wasn't familiar with it. But the script and the actors handle the condition with surprising sensitivity. Rather than making it the focus of an emotional trainwreck, no one seems to be working overtime to make you feel sorry for them. Rather, we get to see what seems to be a surprisingly appealing group of teenagers who've accepted the condition in various ways long before the opening scenes of the movie, and they are going to move forward with life without asking for our sympathy.
There is a serious level of chemistry between Haley Lu Richardson and Cole Sprouse that has to be one of the most believable pairings I recall in this genre.
The growing sparks between them effectively places this truly debilitating genetic condition in just the right context. They don't want your sympathy--they just want a slim chance at happiness. Yes, the teenage girls in the audience were crying rivers at the end . . . but for once . . . I could completely understand it.
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