Gay hiking

Fire Island is a gorgeous gay comeback

At the beginning of fire island, our heroes are leaving for the weekend. As they walk out, a character expresses relief at not having to see a heterosexual for the next seven days, setting a pleasant tone for a big-hearted gay rom-com that follows the worn contours of both. Pride and Prejudice and at least half of all queer movies from the 1990s.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s novel, it is remarkable how fire island maps the meticulous social codes of the Regency era and also the queer social hierarchies of this moment: class divisions, maintaining appearances, loves sabotaged by feelings that cannot be said aloud.

History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes with lisps. By that I mean: this is probably the first Disney movie to show anal.

Gays of a certain age are likely to feel a nostalgic tickle as the story unfolds: a group of friends get together for a summer getaway, flirt with strangers, and discover that what at first seemed like a brief racing pulse was actually a sign of incoming affection. they did not know that they could feel. It’s a bit of Great Edena little JeffreyA touch of Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kissand an echo of Beautiful thing (but with cellphones) – a cozy throwback to 90s gay rom-coms, down to the inclusion of Britney ballads and the perfect presence of Margaret Cho.

Our main character is Joel Kim Booster, who plays… well, somebody; it’s hard to think of him as anyone other than his highly entertaining comedic persona. JKB’s performance pairs well with best friend Howie, played by Bowen Yang, who blends into his character with a little more realism. (Here, Yang finally has a chance to prove that he is more than the iceberg that sank the Titanic; he really can law.) The two leads are joined by a supporting cast of screaming gay mayhem buddies who are tolerable in moderation, but the real action begins when the gang encounters a group of wealthy jerks, at which point they really begin to weave an intricate tapestry of love and disgust. Are these gay gangs destined to be lovers or enemies? Why not the two of them?

You don’t need to have read the book (or any AO3 fiction) to find out where this is all heading, but who cares if this story has already been told many times? You didn’t want a twist. fire island shines not with surprises, but with great cheerful joy: The camaraderie, the underwear parties, the fanatical interest in Marisa Tomei’s career. The plot is free to hum with minimal supervision as our boys oscillate between amorous and furious, while wearing as few clothes as possible.

Enjoyably – and unlike how we tended to do these things in the 90s – there are excellent sit-up and note-taking performances throughout, especially from taciturn lawyer Will (Conrad Ricamora), whose granite face the impartiality is impossible to look away. Is there star treks need a Vulcan? The less his character says, the more he communicates, and he found a perfect role in a story about feelings that go unsaid.

Other highlights: Torian Miller as a low-budget nerd; Cho as a mama-lesbian making up for the bullshit of youth; Matt Rogers as a distraught former barback who attempts to top a glass of Brie; drag icon Peppermint having an absolute ball like herself on stage. All of these are criminally underutilized, but that’s okay. There’s only room for so much fun in a single movie, and I can’t imagine this team won’t have more feature film opportunities to come.

Fire Island is available to stream now on Hulu in the US and on Disney+ and Star+ in select other countries. No theatrical release planned.