Five Feet Apart is the forthcoming teen romance film attempting to do something positive for the cystic fibrosis community. The problem is…. we’re still trying to figure out what that “something” is.
The damn movie isn’t even out yet and it’s already causing a divide in the CF world. It’s been a super hot button topic on social media, something I’ve been more than happy to participate in.
Some people seem to think it is an enormously positive thing to get cystic fibrosis out there on the silver screen. Other people, like me, think it’s a pathetic for profit attempt to capitalize on a very narrow issue that gives a lot of people with cystic fibrosis extreme anxiety and stress: cross-infection between two kids with CF.
Not to mention it’s also playing on a public health concern amidst rising rates of Nontuberculosis mycobacterium and social transmission of epidemic Pseudomonas aeruginosa in CF clinics. That’s science, though… there’s (obviously) no place for that in a fictional movie, so I digress.
But if you read my blog from over the summer, you know all that.
Five Feet Apart is BACK in the news as the movie’s social media accounts suddenly came to life (ironically the opposite of what I expect for the characters in the movie – spoiler alert… if both of our token “CF kids” don’t die in the end of the movie, I’m calling the whole thing a farce) ahead of tomorrow’s MUCH ANTICIPATED trailer release. Are you waiting on the edge of your seat? I am.
— Five Feet Apart (@FiveFeetApart) October 30, 2018
SOMEBODY GET A VOGMASK ON THESE TWO ASAP.
A lot of us (you know… people living with CF) have had a whale of a time trolling this movie. My favorite exercise so far has been renaming the film with an accurate title. Here are some of my favorite ones so far:
The Girl With the CF Tattoo
How to Kill a CFer in 10 Days
40 Enzymes and 40 Calls to the Insurance Company
The Return of the Multidrug Resistant Psuedomonas
NTM Strikes Back
Lung Function Down
Saving Patient Ryan
The Good, The Bad and the Multidrug Resistant Bacteria
…and, of course… it’s impossible not to make the clear connection between Five Feet Apart and the sequel series, Six Feet Under.
BUT GUNNAR…. THERE WAS A PERSON WITH CF AND AND AND AND A CF NURSE WHO CONSULTED ON THE MOVIE.
After all… director Justin Baldoni has been all over his Instagram comments waving that flag.
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When I was eight, my dad gave me his broken camera that I would pretend to make movies with. Growing up I would film absolutely everything…there was something about documenting life that I felt so drawn to. In high school I made music videos for girls I liked, and turned in short films instead of book reports. As a struggling actor I supported myself by directing music videos on the side to make rent, then later commercials, and in my mid-twenties I decided to leave acting completely to make documentaries that I hoped could help heal our world. So I have to just say out loud, that while it may have seemed like I was on the path to eventually direct a studio feature film – I don’t know if I ever thought it would really happen. Sometimes dreams can feel so far away- but this has always been one of my big ones. (And I’m sure my mom would tell you she always “knew” it would happen 😜 ) So, today- I couldn’t be more excited, humbled & and also really damn proud to share with you the first official trailer for @fivefeetapartfilm!! #FiveFeetApart in theaters EVERYWHERE March 22, 2019 Starring @haleyluhoo @colesprouse @490tx @youfoundkimberly @parmindernagra & @emilybaldoni. Thank you to the massive village that have made it possible to get here, and most importantly to the thousands of amazing individuals who are a part of the #CF community and their families – this is for you. (Trailer coming on Friday!)
It just seems like a laughably pathetic attempt to check off a box. As if that somehow gives the production company clout. Actually, now that I think about it, it seems like there’s been a lot of that going on recently…
But remember, people… this film is FOR US. It’s FOR THE CF PATIENTS. Don’t believe me? That’s what Justin Baldoni said in his Instagram post and Cole Sprouse said in an interview with Teen Vogue:
“Cole told Teen Vogue that he felt a responsibility to ensure his character reflected true experiences of living with CF. ‘There are some roles that carry a real responsibility for accurate representation, this was one of them,’ he said. ‘Some say the currency of poetry is the acceptance of other poets, and I desire no audience more greatly than those who resonate with the challenges shown by the characters of this film. It’s my hope that we did them justice. This was all for you guys.’”
Here’s a word of advice… if you want to do all of us justice, maybe you should own it… Own the fact that you went ahead and did something horrendously stupid.
Oh… and a word for all of the haters telling me to reserve judgment until I see the movie, I’ll let the below screen grab of our lovely “CF kids” hanging out at the indoor pool do the talking for me… or I guess you could just look at the movie poster.