I first saw a preview for Five Feet Apart and new it was a movie I just had to see. Then the best news came. It was a book! Now originally I thought it was a book made into a movie, but I learned recently this pair came about a different way. It was a screenplay that was then written into a book and both have been released fairly close together, the book just last fall and the movie in March. But I felt this still met the criteria for comparison.
With that being said, author Rachael Lippincott worked so well with Tobias Iaconis and Mikki Daughtry on this project. They were the two that wrote the screenplay and Rachael stepped in to help with the book version. A lot of movies that come from books (or in this case vice versa) so many little things are left out that it makes the book a way more obvious choice if you are going for full story effect. Five Feet Apart was not like that at all. The movie was almost identical to the book. All the big moments were there. All the little details were there.
A few minor things were different, I noticed. One being the ending to the roof scene (no spoilers here) was slightly different, but not in a way it affected the story. Another detail was the parents. While the parents were in the movie, there was a lot more detail to them in the book portion and they were a little more prominent too. You learn about them a lot more and their relationship with their kids. But again, this was not a part of the story I felt changed the feeling or overall plot of the story.
The one major difference in the two was the last chapter or scene. Now knowing that the book was written after the screenplay makes me happy that Lippincott gave us the ending she did. I really wish that end scene was in the movie. I feel like it took some of the sadness away from the story and left a little torch of hope, even with knowing the statistics on CF. It left me with a smile at the end of the book. The movie was missing that scene. Now I feel that the story was equally as powerful in the movie, I just really loved that ending scene in the book.
The acting was phenomenal and I think the characters written for the parts were nailed by the actors who were chosen to play them. Cole Sprouse was the perfect Will. I’m not sure I could have picked someone better. And Haley Lu Richardson was the perfect Stella. Relatable, funny, and fit all the quirks I loved about her in the book.
If you are not a book person, but like movies that come from books, this is a must see. I don’t feel like you miss out on too much by seeing the movie instead of the book. The book nerd in me says always read the book, but if you don’t want to, the movie is fantastic just the same. Major hats off to Rachael Lippincott for writing the novel (the first draft in just 14 days!) and to Tobias Iaconis and Mikki Daughtry for writing an insanely good movie. I sincerely hope all of these individuals continue to make unique and incredible art for us to enjoy.