FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE YET TO SEE FIRE ISLAND, THIS IS A NON-SPOILER REVIEW.
This June, we are getting a slew of LGBTQ+ oriented entertainment as Hulu is also dropping the final season of Love, Victor, Peacock is releasing the first season of their Queer as Folk reboot and AMC+ will be unveiling the incredible Ben Wishaw-led This Is Going to Hurt. Suffice to say, that Pride month is going to be full of exciting content geared toward the community. But, first up, is the Hulu Original Movie Fire Island.
WHAT IS FIRE ISLAND ALL ABOUT?
Set on the tiny titular island off the coast of New York, where every summer, gays flock from all around the United States to party, hook up, and spend time with their chosen families… a group of guys and their lesbian sister, spend one last week together before they put their house up for sale. Fire Island is full of all of the song and dance, club scenes, chiseled bods, and camp and cheese that you could want from a movie like this. Oh, and it’s also loosely inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. So, if that sounds like your cup of tea, then you are going to love this movie and I can’t wait to share why. But, if it doesn’t, then this is certainly not for you.
HOW FUNNY IS THE FILM?
Rising Stand-Up Comic and openly out-and-proud Joel Kim Booster writes and stars in the film. And you can feel every ounce of love he has for his community and for this iconic Island, up on the screen. And also the man’s brilliant and biting comedic touch. Fire Island is easily one of the funniest pieces of entertainment I have seen all year. I was laughing out loud throughout the entire film, and you can’t say that about many comedies nowadays.
From Booster’s snarky, smart-ass wit, to all of the celebrity and movie references, all the way to the self-aware comedy that makes fun of gay culture, just as much as it celebrates it. For the most part, every joke landed and I was in stitches. Also, just be aware that this movie does not shy away from its R-Rating… providing all of the drug-fueled, steamy sex, and raunchy comedy that you could ask for.
DOES THE ENSEMBLE CAST DELIVER THE GOODS?
The comic has also created such an endearing band of misfit characters here. And he has found a wonderful cast of performers to portray them (even if the acting can be over-the-top, at times). From SNL-star Bowen Yang’s more introverted and shy San Franciscan Howie to theater majors Luke and Keegan who are joined at the hip, Torian Miller’s teddy bear Max, Margaret Cho’s older-and-wiser lesbian with a million stories, Erin, and finally, Booster’s Noah, a loyal, loving commitment-phobe who has “something to say about everything”… it’s hard not to fall for each and every one of these main characters because our writer and star has gifted them all with a heart and soul.
DOES FIRE ISLAND FEEL A LITTLE OVERSTUFFED AT TIMES?
One of my few qualms with the film though is that he has also stuffed Fire Island with so many other supporting characters, like love interests Charlie and Will, hot-but-shady Dex, rich-and-bitchy Cooper, amongst many others… that there are times that you feel like you are being ripped away from our leads too often. And a couple of our characters like Max and Erin don’t get nearly enough screen time, despite being stand-outs. Because there are so many characters and subplots… The main love stories for both Noah and Howie feel more rushed than I would have liked. That leads me to believe that this honestly would have worked better as a limited series, with each episode being one day of their eventful week… and that would have made everything feel far more fleshed out and satisfying.
IS THIS THE PERFECT GETAWAY?
Fire Island is one of those movies you turn on with a group of friends… so, you can laugh and cry and cheer together. In the movie, Noah and others talk about the Island… How during their getaways it’s as if time stands still like you’ve been escorted away from real life to paradise, where nothing else matters. And while you’re watching the film, it will feel like you’ve been transported there as well… And you will never want to leave. This is a film that doesn’t really break the mold in any way story-wise… But, it’s refreshing for its distinct voice, and representation, and for being unapologetically gay… in the best way. I had so much fun with Fire Island… And if you’re down to just turn your brain off and have a debauchery-filled blast… then I think you will too.
Fire Island will be Streaming Exclusively on Hulu on June 3rd, 2022.
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