"Five Feet Apart"

On Friday, the movie "Five Feet Apart" opens.  I'm thinking of going opening weekend.  It's a romance about two teens with CF.  The kicker is they are supposed to stay six feet apart for infection control.  There's my first problem with the movie.  The CF Foundation around 2014 changed that policy to say that no CFers should ever be in the same indoor space.  At outdoor events more than one CF person is allowed to attend, but there they must remain six feet apart.  The whole premise is wrong, according to current policy (say, the last 5+ years or more).  Here are more of my thoughts so-far. 

I hate this movie.  I hate the inaccuracies already.  I hate the bad comparisons the HR team made (they compared a long distance relationship to the situation in the movie and to the hardships of cystic fibrosis.  It's not the same.  It's nothing like that.   Not being able to touch the person you love, EVER, because of a risk of cross-contamination is much bigger than being away from someone for a long time.  Eventually you are reunited with your loved one and you can hug and kiss them.  That's not so in this movie between the main characters).  Also, there is no way they will get the medical stuff correct.  It's too complicated and will be simplified for the movie.  I hate that it seems like a typical teen romance movie.  It seems they are exploiting CF for the dramatic near-death situation and drama to make a desperate romance work.  ::eyeroll::  I think there could be a smart, funny, articulate character with CF in some movie.  As a friend of mine suggested, why not a super hero with CF?  Or a Bond-like character?  The CF would be another obstacle conquered or the reason the hero turned out the way he or she did.

I love this movie.  I love they are bringing CF to the big screen in a way that has so many people talking about CF.  We need awareness.  I'm not sure this is the correct type of awareness, but any awareness is better than none.  Will the movie show how much time we spend fighting with our health insurance or tying to get or keep health insurance?  Are these teenagers privileged and don't have to worry about that?  Are they Canadian?  I think I'd rather they be Canadian.  Then the glaring question of "where is that health insurance coming from?" wouldn't bother me so much.  I was a privileged white teenager, but I still had to worry about my health insurance.  My dad had to change jobs at least once to keep health insurance for me and I've worried about and fought with health insurance ever since.  I'm currently in a health insurance struggle for the ages.  It's terrifying, and I have a feeling it will be a big thing that gets no attention in this movie. 

I guess I should come up with more reasons I love this movie.  It looks to be a rom-com.  And I'm girly and love a good rom-com. (God, I hope it's a least a 1/2 way descent movie).  I hope the story is not too cheesy, I hope there are some good twists, and I hope they realize that the small-ish risk of cross-contamination or a life-shortening bacteria is worth being together.  Now, I doubt that.  I personally believe that if two CFers culture similar bugs and no super nasty ones, the risks to dating are small.  The risks with friendship are even smaller, and in my experience, having CF friends is way beyond worth the small risk of infection. 

I used to belong to a support group, and even though we followed CF guidelines in the meetings, we were friends outside of them.  We hugged and hung out like normal humans, and there was never any sign of cross infection.  I had a close friend stay at my house and I stayed at hers.  We did our vests and nebulizers together.  I never cultured anything different and neither did she. 

Anyways, I know the movie will make me cry.  I've loved people with CF.  Some of my best friends and mentors have or had CF.  I know people who married other CFers.  I contemplated dating another CFer when I was in my early 20s, but he lived out of state and I knew it wouldn't work out.  I have cared and currently care deeply for people with CF, and I have CF.  So, for me, there's an extra layer of emotion there.  I've lived the CF life they are trying to portray - the difficulties, ups, and downs are mine.  I know them intimately. 

In one of the trailers the female lead has the male lead do his treatments with her to make sure he does them.  I used to do that with my friend Lauren.  I've done that with other friends, as well, to keep myself accountable, but I did it with Lauren because I was better at doing mine.  Lauren passed away in 2011.  I'm sure this movie is going to tug at those heart strings that still love my friends who have passed.  I miss them every day.  I keep photos of my angels by my bed. 

I'm excited and nervous to see "Five Feet Apart," and I'm anxious to report my feelings and thoughts on the movie.  I can't wait to write what glaring errors there were, and what they got pretty spot-on.  I can't wait to write about how it made me cry or why it kept me laughing. 


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