Film: Five Feet Apart

Cast: Haley Lu Richardson, Cole Sprouse, Claire Forlani, Kimberly Hebert Gregory, Moises Arias

Director: Justin Baldoni

Rating: * * *

Young people have raging hormones. All the more reason to imbibe the virtues of self-control. Sadly, society allows the male species to do as they please. Always, its the woman who has to bear it all. Literally and figuratively. Do we have to be sick to be forbidden to touch? Suspend disbelief in this mushy flick based on a novel about a pair of very ill young adults who fall in love. Remember “The Fault in Our Stars”?

Cystic fibrosis, not cancer, afflict Will (Cole Sprouse) and Stella (Haley Lu Richardson, impressive), who are advised to avoid contagious infection by staying six feet apart. (Cysts can afflict anyone and everyone, even little babies. Awful isn’t it)

Optimist Stella hopes a transplant will extend her life by at least five years, and is careful about her medication. Artist Will is a realist. OK make that cynic. As he tells Stella, “We’re breathing borrowed air. Enjoy it.” Away from their families, the pair is nursed by compassionate Barb (Kimberly Hebert Gregory) in the hospital where they find a friend in Poe (Moises Arias) All in all a tear jerker (like Erich Segal’s Love Story) with themes of perseverance and empathy marking a predictable tale of star-crossed love.