Review: Fire Island

FIRE ISLAND (2022)

A raucous comedy diving into the Gay culture of the island they call Fire, Fire Island is a bundle of fun thanks to an excellent cast and willingness to push the envelope of gay film.

A group of friends embark on a weeklong vacation to the famed Fire Island, leading to an abundance of alcohol, temptation, and expectations that fuel the ensuing drama. Fire Island was a bit of a frustrating film at the start, the highlights of the trailer playing out in quick succession. Once the story gets going, however, the film delivers a fresh, fun snapshot of friendship, romance, and deep conversation. Joel Kim Booster and Bowen Yang are delightful on screen, their authentic friendship and interactions beaming with heart. The MVP for me was Conrad Ricamora, here playing a closed-off character who you incrementally warm up to as the story unfolds. Maybe it’s because I saw a lot of myself in him?

It doesn’t all work; a few situations are exaggerated and familiar tropes in LGBTQ media. But the true value of Fire Island is the meaningful dissection and exploration of gay relationships, friendships, and community stereotyping. Booster’s script doesn’t ignore the segregated nature of the island or the community as a whole, instead addressing it head on. I may or may not have been moved to tears at one point… can’t confirm. The Pride and Prejudice influences are sewn throughout, but never blatant, finding a proper balance of drama and humor. It all results in a charming film that will make you feel like you’re hanging with your friends.

Fire Island hits Hulu on June 3rd, 2022.

Rating: 4/5

Photo from Queer Forty

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