Book vs. Movie: Five Feet Apart

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Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations.

Five Feet Apart is a film I had been looking forward to since I really enjoyed reading the novel. The book is so heartwarming, and this translates to the screen pretty well. However, the film appears much more unrealistic and cringey than the novel, even though the plot is followed pretty closely. Both versions are enjoyable, but I found the novel better executed and more believable.

Book vs. Movie: Five Feet ApartTitle: Five Feet Apart
Author: Rachael Lippincott
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Cast: Haley Lu Richardson, Cole Sprouse, Moisés Arias
Director: Justin Baldoni
Screenplay: Mikki Daughtry, Tobias Iaconis
Publication Date: November 20, 2018

three-half-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Can you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

Amazon “Book

Five Feet Apart: Book vs. Movie

The book tells the story of two cystic fibrosis patients who fall in love but can’t get close to each other. If they get within six feet, Stella could lose her shot at new lungs. I found myself enjoying how the novel both educates about cystic fibrosis and is absolutely adorable. There are many touching moments in the story, and the characters are developed. I was interested to see how the novel would translate to the screen since it is very emotional, and many details that make it that way could be lost.

❀ Movie Makes The Plot Unrealistic

As for the film adaptation, I was impressed with how accurate it is to the original work. That being said, the first half of the film was definitely more enjoyable for me. After the halfway mark, the movie becomes cringey and pretty unrealistic. Of course, the book has its cheesy moments as well, but this is amplified on the screen, especially through Will’s character. Something about Cole Sprouse’s acting changes the story into a cringey teen movie. I still enjoyed watching the movie, but I think it could have been a little more realistic, especially for a film about a real illness.

❀ Book is More Enjoyable Compared to the Movie

Both the novel and the film adaptation of Five Feet Apart are enjoyable, however the book is much more realistic. I appreciated how closely the film follows the novel, even if it appears much cheesier on screen. I would still recommend seeing the movie if you are interested, but I would advise reading the book for the full experience.

About Rachael Lippincott

Image of Rachael Lippincott

Rachael Lippincott was born in Philadelphia and raised in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She holds a BA in English writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, splitting her time between writing and running a food truck with her partner.

15 thoughts on “Book vs. Movie: Five Feet Apart

  1. Sophie says:

    Oooh I haven’t read the book yet but the trailer of the movie made me want to. Now I can understand why you’d say the movie would make some parts unrealistic. I think our imagination while reading a book makes us “morph” what we are reading into something believable, most of the time. Seein it displayed on the big screen without filter is another story.

    • The Candid Cover says:

      It is a great story! I think that you are so right. Our own perspectives and thoughts really do a play a role in the reading process and not much room left for our own imagination with a film. Great analysis! 🙂

  2. Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse says:

    This was good to read! I hadn’t heard of the book until I saw the advertisements for the movie. I had no interested in the movie. Your comparison has me rethinking that. I would have to read the book first because I like that it would be more realistic. Maybe I could stomach the movie not being so after reading it. Great review!

  3. Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) says:

    I heard about the book this past summer, but of course hadn’t had a chance to read it when the opportunity came up to go see the movie this past week. I knew that the book would be better, it always is, but I did really enjoy the movie. For those who won’t read the book, the education about the disease is still really good I’d say. I had no idea about what this disease really was, so it was a good movie for me. I can see what you’re saying about the cringing factor, but I think movies tend to go that way a lot, especially the teen ones. 🙂 Great review of both!
    Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) recently posted…Cleaning Up My TBR With A Giveaway: Down the TBR Hole #13

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