“Everybody should f&$% on Fire Island at least once, it’s like, our birthright.”
There’s nothing like summer in the NYC. Time for the gays to leave the hustle of the city to take the ferry out to Long Island. Noah (Joel Kim Booster) and his merry bunch of friends, Howie (Bowen Yang), Luke (Matt Rogers), Max (Toran Miller) and Keegan (Tomas Matos) spend more money than they have to treat themselves to a vacation surrounded by the people that wouldn’t give them the time of day in Manhattan. Noah makes a promise to Howie that he will stay celibate this week until he does, but once they arrive at Erin’s (Margaret Cho), they get thrusted (so to speak) into a difficult situation – Erin is broke and has to sell her house. This is their last week on Fire Island.
Twenty minutes after they arrive, Howie meets Charlie, (James Scully), a doctor, and Noah meets Will (Conrad Ricamora), a lawyer. While Howie and Charlie are into each other, Noah finds Will cold, aloof and pretentious. So, it makes sense for Noah to stir the pot and invite everyone over for dinner. Noah really wants Howie to be happy and fulfilled, but he also really wants to have sex with Dex (Zane Phillips), a beautiful man he met at the grocery store earlier that day who also seems to have had a negative thing with Will, that makes Noah want him even more.
Romcoms are cliche for a reason. They give the audience hope that someday they can find the same happiness. However, people don’t normally catch feelings after five days of knowing someone, but there can be a spark that leads to something more. Not everyone wants the fairytale life, living somewhere that’s green in Levittown, some of us are best alone living as free as we want. The most important thing in these situations is communication, once you get to a point in your life where you’re mature enough to articulate your feelings, then everything after will fall into place.
Joel Kim Booster‘s script is fresh, fun and calls out all the tired tropes of the romcom genre and exposes them for how unrealistic and exhausting they can be. Andrew Ahn takes us to a mystical island inhabited by an eclectic group of humans, while the cast lacks in much body diversity and some characters are just there as comic relief, prancing around in the background as chaos gremlins than fully fleshed out people, this movie shows the world that some of us have to go through life with our shields up and only trust our chosen family to help guide us through this murky existence and hopefully come out the other side alive. I have never been to Fire Island and after seeing this movie, i never want to.
Reviewed June 3, 2022. Rating: R. Running time: 105 min.
PRODUCTION: A Hulu release of a Jax Media & Searchlight Pictures production. Producers: Tony Hernandez, John Hodges & Brooke Posch. Executive producer: Joel Kim Booster.
CREW: Director: Andrew Ahn. Writer: Joel Kim Booster. Editing: Brian A. Kates. Cinematography: Felipe Vara de Rey. Music: Jay Wadley.
CAST: Joel Kim Booster, Bowen Yang, Margaret Cho, Conrad Ricamora, James Scully, Matt Rogers, Tomas Matos, Torian Miller, Nick Adams & Zane Phillips.