Five Feet Apart

Stella has a genetic disease, cystic fibrosis, which forces her to stay in hospital for a long time, hoping for a lung transplant. Stella also has a lot of courage and a past that forces her to hold on to life, caring for herself with extreme diligence and updating her vlog so others can follow her example. Will, on the other hand, is new in the hospital ward, his form of cystic fibrosis is serious and he doesn’t find a reason to pretend he can live. At least until he falls in love with Stella. At that point everything changes, because even if they can’t hug or kiss, and are forced to stay one meter away from each other, Will and Stella are determined to find ways to be together.
Romeo and Juliet return and their hasty and poignant adolescent love story, paradigmatic in the simplicity of the granite premise, imperishable by definition, because love at this age has the intensity of death, its necessity and absoluteness.
But even more than for the sad lovers of Shakespeare, the protagonists of A meter from you bring to mind those of Titanic, with their first encounter during Rose’s attempted suicide (here instead Will is in a dangerous position) and the promise that Jack will he rips out of being able to draw it, laying the foundations on the paper of a process of fixing the beloved that winks at the cinematographic device that contains it. Stella and Will, however, are also today’s kids, who keep each other company by long video calls, search and deny themselves via whatsapp, have lunch, study and compare themselves via smartphone even if their rooms face the same corridor.
Justin Baldoni’s film has the indisputable merit of not making the disease a superficial expedient, and of describing the daily lives of young patients and the small survival strategies for hospital imprisonment with the right spirit and a point of view entirely internal to the characters, which leaves adults outside the confines of their world. But perhaps it is also another infirmity that speaks, between the lines, much more common and widespread.

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