Five Feet Apart 1.0 stars

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Winning performances by Haley Lu Richardson and Cole Sprouse coupled with a thoughtful exploration of the daily rigors encountered by patients with cystic fibrosis are the main thrust behind this doomed-romance that’s worthy of the Lifetime Channel. (Even the score resembles a Cosentyx commercial.) No one told screenwriters Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis that force-feeding an audience sweets will result in a tummy ache. It ends by borrowing a page from George Bailey’s It’s A Wonderful Life House Organ: there’s nothing that a brief bout of hypothermia can’t cure! It’s his first feature, so instead of the aesthetic police issuing a warrant for director Justin Baldoni’s arrest on the grounds of anamorphic abuse, he’ll be let go with a slap on the wrist. Given Baldoni’s propensity for teeter-totter compositions — position two characters at opposite ends of the Panavision frame — and adjusting for the size of the screen one watches it on, they could just as well have called this 26 Feet Apart.

Scott Marks

Rated: PG-13

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