Just in time for Pride Month, Hulu is releasing its latest LGBTQ+ themed film, Fire Island. Set against the backdrop of the destination in Long Island, NY made famous for being a resort for gay men, the movie is a love letter to gay pride throughout the ages. A romantic comedy that easily appeals to everyone, Fire Island is a unique entry into a film genre that hasn’t seen much mainstream opportunity or success until now. A highly diverse cast of incredibly talented performers pushes this uplifting flick beyond expectations.
Directed by Andrew Ahn and inspired by Pride and Prejudice, Fire Island is a heartwarming story of a group of gay male friends who travel to the island every summer for vacation, something many of them look forward to all year long. The opening sequence where the men arrive by ferry to the island, sets the stage and tone for the film with a rendition of “Pure Imagination,” made famous by Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. With ongoing events, and traditions that include watching the sunset each night and partying until dawn, the group of friends do their best to meet potential mates during the week-long festivities. Written by and starring Joel Kim Booster as Noah the know-it-all bachelor, the ensemble cast includes SNL’s Bowen Yang, How to Get Away with Murder’s Conrad Ricamora, I Love That For You’s Matt Rogers, and comedian Margaret Cho.
With hijinks and true-to-life depictions of sex, drugs, and conflicting personalities amongst the specifically gay male community, Fire Island is a treat full of humor and romance. Bowen Yang’s turn as the ever-so-romantic Howie is single-handedly touching, in contrast to Noah’s more intimidating and ruthless nature. Each member of the cast has distinctive traits that they bring to their characters, whether they strive to show off a more slutty side, or a more reserved demeanor. In the end, the movie sheds light on the history of the island to those that may not be familiar with it, spliced in with an unapologetically human story that is built for the LGBTQ+ community and allies alike.
One aspect of Fire Island that deserves more attention is the character of Erin, played masterfully by Margaret Cho. As one of the lone female characters of the film, it would have been interesting to discover more about her character, even if viewers saw tidbits of her personality throughout the film. In the end, her story is a little light on the details, but her connection to the rest of the group made the movie stand tall on its romantic feet.
I highly recommend checking out Fire Island, if not for a lot of laughs and a ton of heart.
Ticket rating: 🎟🎟🎟🎟