The Five Foot Distance is a movie about terminally ill teenagers, so right from the start you can expect the plot to flirt and indeed flirt with death. Two years after its release, the film still holds a special place in the hearts of audiences.
The plot revolves around the scarred Stella (Hayley Road Richardson) and the cynical and careless Will (Cole Sprouse), both teenagers with cystic fibrosis. In addition to CF, Will also contracted an infection called B. Cepacia, which worsened his condition and made it more dangerous for other CF members.
Stella and Will initially had fights over their different opinions, but the hatred eventually dissipated and gave a way to their mutual romantic relationship.
The teens should maintain a distance of six feet at all times to avoid infecting each other with life-threatening infections. However, Stella eventually decided to “steal” one foot, and they decided to keep five feet between them instead of six, hence the title “Five feet apart”. Chapter
So Who Died In this sorrow filled story?
Do Will and Stella Die?
Surprisingly (or perhaps not at all surprising, depending on how you look at it), neither Stella nor Will, the protagonists of the film, are dead.
However, two other characters died: Stella’s sister, Abby (Sofia Bernard) and her partner and CFer’s best friend, Poe (Moises Arias).
What Happened to Abby, Stella’s Sister?
Abby’s death was not shown to us immediately, even though the character had passed away before the timeline set by the movie. We first introduced ourselves to Abby through her beautiful artwork. She depicted a pair of lungs made of flowers and butterflies suspended in outer space.
The lungs are designed for Stella, and she needs new lungs to live longer. We quickly learned that Abby was Stella’s pillar, accompanied her to the operating room and helped her fall asleep. Obviously, the sisters are closely related.
Will suspects that Abby may have passed away, because Stella becomes awkward and elusive every time she is asked about her, and Abby’s social media has been silent for several months.
In the end, Stella confided to Will that Abby had died in a diving accident off a cliff a year ago. Stella was supposed to be traveling with Abby, but due to the sudden outbreak of CF, she had to going at the last minute. Abby’s affair was so bad that she broke her back and died.
Stella suffers survivors’ guilt for the death of her sister and her inability to accompany her in the last moments.
How does Poe die? Does that affect Stella?
From start to finish, the focus of the film remains Stella and Will, and whether they will succumb to the temptation to break the five feet required between them. Nurse Barb often cares about this too.
Among them, Stella’s friend Poe was forgotten, and it was him who died. It’s a joke that he accidentally keeps pressing the emergency button, but this time, it’s a real emergency. We saw the portrait of Poe’s death, his face turned white and his lips turned blue because of lack of oxygen, and then he finally went away forever.
Poe’s death is Stella’s turning point. She felt sad and sorry for not being able to hug her best friend before he died. She decided to go out and make the most of her life, and decided to watch the city lights with Will, something she wanted to do for a while.
Do they end up infecting each other?
For most of the movie, Stella strictly followed the rules and their treatment to ensure that she and Will kept her distance, but when the two went for a walk on the night Poe died, Stella fell. In the freezing pond. Will has no choice but to perform a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to save his life.
Miraculously, Stella subsequently tested Will’s infection negative, but was warned that she might still be infected in the future.
What had the fate stored for them?
Soon after the freezing pond incident, Stella successfully underwent the much-needed lung transplant, which made her hope to live a better and healthier life.
However, Will’s end was not so lucky. He had been taking experimental drugs to help treat his CF and B. Cepacia, but soon discovered that they did not work. He was also not eligible for a lung transplant. Time is running out, he knows.
Will said goodbye to Stella in tears (they were separated by a glass wall because she was in the recovery room after the transplant) and told her that she must continue without him. They expressed their love for each other in a heartbreaking scene.
In the end, although it is highly implied that Will is battling the disease, we have not actually seen his death. According to Cole Sprouse in an interview with Refinery29, the filmmakers deliberately left the ending open so that the audience could draw their own conclusions.
So in the end, we as the audience imagine the ending we want!