I read it many months ago Pride and prejudiceso my memory is very vague – but never mind, Fire Island is there to remind me of a very modern, queer romantic comedy.
And how smart this is.
Instead of young British ladies with umbrellas and men in high collars, this division between classes has been extended to race, body image and more. Discrimination, after all, should not happen within minority groups, right? Yes exactly….
Korean-American actor Joel Kim Booster (Big Mouth, Shrill, Sunnyside), is both the writer and star of this film, appearing as Noah, a young nurse who goes on vacation with her best friends to an LGBTQI + destination, Fire Island.
“It’s like Gay Disneyworld … fun, fun, fun for the whole family!”
Among his friends is Howie (Bowen Yang) whose dance card remains so free that Noah agrees not to hang out with any man until his friend does.
“I won’t even look at the other guy until you fuck,” Noah promises. Great call.
His mission becomes to be the perfect wing, even if Howie cultivates deeper ambitions like romance, through endless bellies and one-night stands. For real.
Together with various friends Luke (Matt Rogers), Keegan (Tomás Matos) and Max (Torian Miller), they stay in a messy holiday home of a lesbian friend, Erin (Margaret Cho).
At a beach party, Howie catches the eye of posh Charlie (James Scully), but when the group is invited back to a private party at a luxury residence, the boys are given cold shoulders by a multitude of handsome whites who look like they have strayed from the Abercrombie & Fitch catalog.
“I think you have the wrong house,” they are told.
Even Filipino-American lawyer Will (Conrad Ricamora) believes that Noah is below his position, and the two of them soon inflate unresolved sexual tensions.
“These people are not our people,” Noah told his friends.
The plot also includes the wonderful Dex (Zane Phillips) who befriends Noah, but has a history with Will … are you keeping up?
There are parties, socializing, hangovers and jokes, like “I’m kind of angry and horny!”
Joel Kim Booster’s screenplay is translated by Jane Austen with surprising ease, all the while managing to emphasize how the privileged and beautiful manage to constantly belittle those without – despite the apparent waving of the community flag around tolerance and inclusion.
Booster, Yang and Ricamora are especially strong in their lead roles, and Margaret Cho is always fun if she is underused as the mother of a chicken group.
Booster even manages to cleverly weave a justifiable reason for some old-fashioned letter writing, nodding nicely to Austin’s world.
More than that, he created a group of cute characters whose festive romance is a fun stay at the camp with a message.
Fire Island shows on Friday at Star / Disney +