Arts & Entertainment

Fire Island – The Gay Rom-Com We All Need

By Linc Jenkin

Having never seen, read, or consumed, in any way, Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, the basis for the hit new movie Fire Island, I was able to view the film with a virgin eye. While I’m sure Austen aficionados would say that nothing comes close to the original iterations on page or screen, Fire Island brings all the feels.

If you’re a part of the majority population who doesn’t fit into the narrow, yet socially accepted, vision of the gay body (in this vapid universe that means, white and muscular), you can probably relate to the insecurities experienced by the main cast. The first five minutes tell you that you’d better get used to confronting your insecurities while viewing this film! 

The Gay Rom-Com We All Need!

Fire Island is an American romantic comedy film written by and starring Joel Kim Booster, as Noah, and supported in the storyline by his ex-boyfriend, best buddy Howie, played by Australian-born, Canadian-raised and now American-based, Bowen Yang. Supported by a veritable gaggle of gays of many shapes, sizes, and colours, at the helm of supporting characters is the mumma bear, the always enthralling Margaret Cho, as Erin.

Fire Island – It Doesn’t Seem Very Welcoming

Fire Island itself, the fabled gay Mecca that most Australians have only ever read about, or seen mentioned in pop culture over the last few decades has a certain serial killer je ne sais quoi energy about it.

Maybe because the beautiful gay inhabitants, as portrayed in this film at least, are heinously racist and body-shaming pricks and those cliquey, high school drama vibes just kinda make you feel relieved to be an agoraphobic anti-social who would prefer to keep their coveted covid free status for as long as humanly possible!

It’s a mercifully quick trip to the island, with the movie clocking in at just over 90 minutes, plus credits. Even though there are some confronting scenes that include racism and classism, it’s good to sit in the discomfort and experience because it not only helps you to sit in your own insecurities, it helps to offer a view of what others’ experiences are like. It’s also quite shocking that this movie is playing on Disney+ because, spoiler alert, or maybe it’s just an incentive to watch – there is an actual gay sex scene! And not a Disney-fied cop-out gay peck on the cheek, but a fully thrusting portrayal of a penetrative act between two men. It was surprising enough to consider the gay romantic comedy was on this particular platform, just by the very nature of the storyline, but that particular scene would have been enough to make Walt Disney clutch his pearls!

Overall, Fire Island is a well-written, poignant piece of social commentary, offering a view from the other side, which makes you think and feel deeply. Definitely check out Fire Island, currently available to stream on Disney+, for the beautiful eye candy, the great chemistry between the cast, and the strong performances from the two lead actors.

★★★★

Fire Island is now streaming on Disney+

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