This one was HARD for me, but I knew it would be going into the movie. I intentionally waited until it came to video to watch it. I knew I would be very triggered watching this movie, so I wanted to watch it in the privacy of my home.
For those that don't know, I am a CF mama. I lost my oldest daughter to CF at a little under 2 1/2 years old and my youngest child, Ezra, has CF as well. The details of what happened the day Hayley passed left me with PTSD.
As someone that knows the ins and outs of CF, I was concerned about the title the first time I heard of this movie. For anyone without CF knowledge, the rule of thumb is all CFers must be six feet apart at all times to prevent cross-contamination of bacteria and infections that do not affect most people. I was glad when the trailer showed me there was a valid reason behind the missing foot in the title.
Stella and Will both have Cystic Fibrosis. Stella is very in control of her treatments, she stays on top of them and is very organized about her setup. Will, on the other hand, is rebellious about his own therapies due to the resentment of his health and condition. Stella is on the lung transplant list, waiting for her perfect match to come through. She survives the hospital stays with studying, facetiming friends, and working on coding. Will, doesn't meet criteria for a lung transplant due to a bacteria he's contracted. This makes their budding relationship especially critical. These two, above all, need to stay apart. But their hearts don't want to listen to that reason.
I was extra critical with the hospital and treatment scenes because I am a CF mama. I will not bore you with those details. They did very good overall with staying true to the life of a CF patient. I was disappointed in the lack of parent involvement. I understand the characters are older (Will turns 18 during the movie), so they can care for themselves and even stay in the hospital alone. But, as a CF parent, I felt they should've been around more than they were. I will state that I haven't reached that point of CF parenting as my oldest is only 4 1/2 so I am his advocate and in charge of his care 100%. My thoughts might change on this point in the future when he is old enough to handle some of his own care.
The love story is sweet and not corny, as so many are nowadays. Their connection makes perfect sense. CF is a very isolating disease and only understood by those walking through it. They understand the struggles, the hopelessness, the constant pain, the fear of the unknown, and sharing those emotions and experiences brings them to a relationship they know is forbidden. The missing foot in the title is part of this. Stella decides CF has stolen far too much from her and her and Will decide to take one foot back. Instead of following the standard six feet apart rule, they commit to five feet and use a pool stick as measurement when they are together.
There are two separate scenes with CPR, which is likely not a trigger for most, but it is my biggest trigger. I went into the movie assuming the chances were high of seeing a scene with CPR so I was as prepared as someone with PTSD can be. There were statements by Stella and Will that were tough to hear as a parent of a CFer, but I strongly feel they were accurate representations of the emotional strain this disease leaves on its victims.
Overall, I give the movie 4 dragonflies.
Content-wise, I caution against anyone under 16. There is more cursing than I expected, given the age of the characters. The majority of the movie takes place in the hospital with treatments and medications throughout as well as a few surgery scenes. Given the matter of the disease, there is a good bit of discussion on death and the afterlife. There is a scene with Stella and Will both in only their underwear. There is a character that is openly gay and a few statements/conversations regarding sexual acts. My only trigger warning is if you are sensitive to medical scenes, though nothing is too graphic in that department.
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