FIRE ISLAND _ Pride and Prejudice in a Queer Romantic Comedy (Review)

Who knows if Jane Austen would have ever thought that from her novel “Pride and Prejudice” they could draw such a … weird readjustment!
FIRE ISLAND (2022) plays with a classic of world literature and brings these same dynamics within a varied and multiethnic group of gay friends.

Plot _ Noah is determined to awaken his friend Howie from the apathy and sexual abstinence that have now become almost pathological. With a group of friends they head to Fire Island, one of the most popular entertainment destinations on the gay scene. Here they meet the shy Charlie, immediately attracted by the originality of Howie and his somewhat snobbish friends, among whom stands out the seriousness of Will’s shoulder.
A week full of parties and sunny beaches will bring many surprises.

Official trailer for the movie FIRE ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND – I’ll tell you right away – it is a bet in my opinion won. Directed by Andreu Ahn it’s fresh, bright, shameless enough, and is based on an equally well-written screenplay by the young author Joel Kim Booster who is also an actor here and reserves the lead role: the male version of the skeptical and combative Elizabeth Bennet, the absolute protagonist of the Austen pages.

Respectful of the fundamentals of the novel’s love story “Pride and prejudice“But returning the action to the present and, moreover, in the context of”nightlife gai“, FIRE ISLAND manages to find the right humor capable of winking at the target audience, without putting limits on showing party scenes and promiscuous sex in the darkrooms, as well as drug use and its effects .

I know, maybe it will make you cover your nose. But the film and the tones are never critical, except for one episode in which a child finds himself an unconscious victim of “revenge porn“(The recording and then the dissemination on the internet of photographic or intimate video material, without the consent of the protagonists of the same).

Pictured from left: JAMES SCULLY (Charlie), ZANE PHILLIPS (Dex) and CONRAD RICAMORA (Will).

I appreciated a certain honesty just as the author often enjoys dismantling the same Austen clichés because today they may be old-fashioned or unbelievable: so goodbye to the pompous and epic declarations of eternal love, better a simple “T ‘like, I care and I’d like to meet you’, perhaps with the support of friends who are always there: those who get lost at parties where you may lose control between a glass of dough and experiment with the most various drugs out there. readily available in certain environments (not exclusively gay) and of which the film, albeit in a very simplistic way, reveals the “positive” effects, but also the negative consequences and side effects.

Because FIRE ISLAND if it really worked, you also had to do a good casting job and maybe here’s the little problem. Myself Joel Kim Booster – a handsome American boy of South Korean descent – has the right face and charisma to be credible on paper; it works less Conrad Ricamora (which most will know for their participation in the series THE RULES OF PERFECT CRIME) as the present Mr. Darcy. Little expressiveness and certainly lacking that charm that transpired under the blanket of coldness and hostility that were characteristic of the character created by Austen.

A romantic scene from the movie FIRE ISLAND (2022), available at Disney Plus, starring Conrad Ricamora and Joel Kim Booster.

Good proof of the other supporting actors: a nice one Brownen Yanggoing through the shy and sunny James Scullyeven fun and intrusive (but not too much) Margaret Cho that here she is called to play a kind of adoptive mother of the boys who came to Fire Island, always concerned for her “children” to be respected and find love or their dimension to be happy.

Nothing overwhelming, but certainly a breath of fresh air that will warm the hearts and lighten the thoughts of those who choose to watch this film. Welcome to FIRE ISLAND!

FIRE ISLAND _ Pride and Prejudice in a Queer Romantic Comedy (Review)

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