Recently, on a Saturday, I went to go see a movie as one does. A movie, that would eventually change the way I acted, thought and spoke. Maybe if I had known the impact this film would have on my life, I would have been more prepared. Five Feet Apart hit the theatre on Friday, March 15 2019. Something that not many people realize is that the movie was inspired by the life and actions of a young girl named Claire Wineland. From the time she was born, Claire struggled with a disease called Cystic Fibrosis. For those of you who may not know what that is, it is a lung disease that causes unusually thick mucus build-up in the lungs making it extremely hard for those who have it to breathe.
With both her actions and words, Claire inspired so many and although she faced death everyday, she always had a smile on her face. If I had the chance to meet Claire personally before her death, I would have.
Like many Hollywood films, Five Feet Apart was a love story. One between two people, both with life threatening illnesses but unlike most films with a mushy love story, this film displayed the harsh truth of CF and in a recent article, the director said he was hoping this move would stay “grounded”. Only having seen the trailer and readd a few plot lines online, I went to see the movie. From watching the trailers, I had assumed this movie would be a tearjerker, but little did I know that it would change my heart and mind forever.
I am not going to go into detail because I believe that everyone should go and see it for themselves, but I do want to explain why I am writing about this when it has not the slightest bit about vision… or so I thought.
Although this movie has nothing to do with literal vision and/or vision disabilities, it touched on our mental vision and the way at which we look at and interpret the world. Both the main actors proved that with the right outlook, one can make a bad situation seem like one with hope. That is how they incorporated Claire into their story, because Claire had such zest for life and such happiness in her actions.
So, it was not the movie itself that changed my life, it the was the concept and the message of the movie that impacted me so much as to write about it. When you have something that is life-threatening or life-limiting, it is hard to see the good in the situation, but just like Will and Stella in Five Feet Apart, making good out of a bad situation is possible through hard work. This movie showed the reality: good and bad about CF and that is what made it something worth watching. It wasn’t about mushy love, but instead about true, tangible love. Although Claire is no longer with us, this movie and all she did is a reminder that those with disability can do the impossible.
If you have not yet seen the movie, I totally recommend you see it. I am no movie guru or critic, but the connection between the actors was beyond inspiring and the message within brought something new to Hollywood. For a movie that is relatively similar to The Fault in Our Stars, it is much more realistic and grounded than that movie (I am sorry if you are a FIOS lover).