How movies romanticize health issues

Chloe Macfoy , Staffer

Do audiences romanticize health issues? The definition of romanticize is “deal with or describe in an idealized or unrealistic fashion; make (something) seem better or more appealing than it really is” (Oxford Languages). I want to focus on the second definition. I have always wondered about types of movies that have people fall in love with a deadly disease and how they reflect back to audiences.



Some movies that fit in this type of category are “The Fault in our Stars” and “Five Feet Apart”. The general summary of these movies are people falling in love with deadly diseases. Both of these movies have a lot of similarities when it comes to the plot. “The Fault in Our Stars” has two teengers fall in love while having cancer. “Five Feet Apart” has two teengers with cystic fibrosis who have to stay apart because of their disease but end up staying together. Both of these movies don’t necessarily have happy endings but are not “bad” endings.



I know not everyone romanticizes these health issues, type of love stories, and they can just be a unique representation of love. Uniqueness is what people could be searching for instead of the average type of love story. These movies could also help people who never get any type of representation about their diseases and it could put a disease that almost no one has heard of in the mainstream. Almost all movies have a story to tell and audiences don’t always reflect a person’s work. These movies can be good and entertaining but can also have some flaws with the story itself and the audience. 



Where do romanticizes these movies come from? Romanticisation of these movies, at least in my opinion, comes from wanting to be different or the idea that you will find love if you have a deadly disease. Another downside to these movies is that some of them are inaccurate or not enough information about the disease. If the only thing people know about a disease is from a movie, misinformation could spread around. Also there’s the fact that the people who play these roles never actually have the disease. So it’s questionable if the people with these diseases are accurately represented. 



I feel like stories like these can be harmful but can also tell a story you might love. People always consume content that is a little problematic, so my final thought is to look at stuff you watch and think about the information it’s presenting to you. Also the grass is greener on the other side so don’t romanticize things that you probably don’t want.