By Chris Dos Santos
18th June 2022

Modern literary adaptions can be the stomping ground for some of the most period-defining films. ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ was reinvented with ’10 Things I Hate About You’, ‘Emma’ with ‘Clueless’, ‘Twelfth Night’ with ‘She’s the Man’, ‘Les Liaisons dangereuses’ with ‘Cruel Intentions’ - all of these took classic works of literature and modernised them. ‘Fire Island’ not only modernises Jane Austen’s classic book ‘Pride and Prejudice’ but also gives it a queer spin.

Every year, a group of friends - Noah (Joel Kim Booster, Netflix’s ‘Big Mouth’), Howie (Bowen Yang, ‘The Lost City’, TV’s ‘Saturday Night Live’), Luke (Matt Rogers, TV’s ‘I Love That For You’), Keegan (Tomás Matos, Netflix’s ‘Diana the Musical’) and Max (Torian Miller, TV's ‘Chicago Med’) - head to gay vacation destination Fire Island. When they arrive, their mother figure Erin (Margaret Cho, ’17 Again’, ‘Bright’) informs them that she is selling the vacation house, meaning this the last year they will be able to go. This means they are going all out; Noah has made a pact not to sleep with anyone until Howie does, and makes it his mission to find a guy for him. But when Howie starts falling in love with Charlie, (James Scully, ‘Straight Up’, Netflix’s ‘You’), frustration arises from Noah as worry for his friends grows - as well as an attraction to Will (Conrad Ricamore) - with concerns it could all come undone as trouble brews below the surface.


From start to finish, ‘Fire Island’ is an absolute queer delight. It’s unapologetic gayness that leaves you grinning from ear to ear. The humour is rapid-fire with zero misses - from Marisa Tomei to one of the greatest things I’ve heard about ‘Bad Neighbours 2’, I couldn’t stop laughing. Not only does the humour land, the film also has a tremendously huge heart.

The film serves as a love letter to all assets of gay life, from friendships, relationships, identify and being as messy as hell. The core friendship group has so much for audiences to identify with and the overarching idea of chosen family is ever-present in most queer peoples’ journeys.

‘Fire Island’ is an instant comedy classic that doesn’t skip a beat. The jokes never miss, the cast is electric, and it's gay as hell; there is nothing to not love. This will be your new favourite comfort film, so run out and watch it over and over.

Looking for more Sydney Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
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