Sometimes fans and critics just don’t agree, resulting in some wildly different opinions on a single movie. Thankfully, there isn’t just one right opinion and everyone else is wrong, but it’s interesting to see what films can cause such different takes. The latest is Five Feet Apart, a young adult romance drama that audiences seem to love while critics were much less hot for it.
The film opened in theaters this weekend, and for the most part critics haven’t been too smitten. Five Feet Apart has received mostly middling reviews, with critics writing that although the film features some strong performances (notably from Haley Lu Richardson), it gives in to too many cliches. The film is at 54% on Rotten Tomatoes at this point, but audiences are having much stronger reactions to the romance drama.
The audience score is currently at 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, highlighting the divide between audiences and critics on this one. I personally tend not to place too much trust in user reviews, but fans are ranking it pretty high on other review aggregators. CinemaScore, which solely measures the audience’s perception of a film, gave Five Feet Apart an “A” ranking, which really good. It’s important to remember that CinemaScore surveys people right after they’ve seen the movie, so it usually gets them at their most passionate.
I don’t think that it’s too surprising that there’s a divide on this one. Five Feet Apart is clearly going for a specific demographic, which critics don’t seem to belong to. So, you could view this as the film playing well with the audience it was made for, but doesn’t do much to appeal to others.
The more interesting reaction might be in the cystic fibrosis community. Evidently, those who possess the disease at the center of the film are mixed. According to Cystic Fibrosis News Today, some like the film and believe that it will bring a lot more awareness to their disease. However, others are insulted because they view the film as a way to profit from a disease.
The cystic fibrosis community is also divided on the portrayal of living life with the actual disease. Apparently, the movie only shows patients who are very ill, and not the ones who go on to lead successful lives. Additionally, the rule is that you have to stay six feet away from someone, not five.
You can decide where you fall on Five Feet Apart, which is out in theaters everywhere. For everything else premiering this year, be sure to check out our 2019 movie release guide.