Movie: Fire Island
Plot: A pair of best friends set out to have a legendary week-long summer vacation with the help of cheap rosé and a group of eclectic friends.
Cast: Joel Kim Booster, Bowen Yang, Conrad Ricamora, and Margaret Cho
Release Date: June 3, 2022
Studio: Hulu
HCA Overall Grade: B

Tom O’Brien says, “If Clueless was a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma with ’90s Valley girls, Fire Island successfully sets Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in the world of queer Asian men in New York’s gay beach paradise. Writer/star Joel Kim Booster has found ingenious modern ways of retelling Austen’s story with lovers in Speedos, and SNL’s Bowen Yang is just terrific, cast against type as a shy guy who’s just a bit afraid to get laid. This is one of the rare raunchy comedies that doesn’t shy away from deeply-felt emotion as well.”

Grade: B+

Fiona Underhill says, “Fire Island is a wonderful modern-day Pride & Prejudice with some really inventive twists on the source material. The cast is thoroughly charming and there are some brilliantly funny lines and line deliveries. Yes, the Marisa Tomei scene is a standout. Joel Kim Booster is a really good lead. “Wickham” is perfect. We have so few good modern rom-coms, so I’m very happy that this exists.”

Grade: B

Michael Lee says, “Fire Island is a wonderfully fresh and funny take on Pride and Prejudice. Andrew Ahn’s latest is not only a fun play on the romantic comedy genre but is also a celebration of queer Asian joy.”

Grade: B+

Terence Johnson says, “Fire Island does a lot of smart things in modernizing Pride and Prejudice and showcasing a particular gay experience. The cast was a dream, with Bowen Yang being the MVP of the movie. However, in making Pride and Prejudice a romcom and focusing only on a few elements, the movie is so steadfastly determined to move towards its inevitable happy ending, it removes some of the drama from its own narrative.”

Grade: B-

Kevin Taft says, “While Billy Eichner’s “Bros” is getting all the press, Joel Kim Booster’s screenplay for “Fire Island” shows gay friendships and relationships in a realistic light. While his lead character isn’t someone we’d ever want to spend a lot of time with (and almost derails the enjoyment), he sort of learns the errors of his ways. But there are a lot of important statements made amidst an engaging ensemble that make this a charming, breezy gay rom-com we need.”

Grade: B

Chris James says, “Who knew Jane Austen would graft so well onto party-hardy gays on Fire Island? The film “Fire Island” is more than just a modern retelling of a classic tale. It’s also a fresh observation on how wealth, race, and sexiness are used as social currency in a gay party environment. Joel Kim Booster shines in the lead. Plus, more movies should love Marisa Tomei as much as this film does.”

Grade: A-

Peggy Marie says, “This was by all accounts a pretty accurate description of the shenanigans of what does really happen on Fire Island during the summer. While cheesy and sweet at moments, the acting was pretty spot on with true-to-life characters that I’ve met at many a T-dance myself.”

Grade: C+

Zoë Rose Bryant says, “Fire Island is a riotous modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice – featuring breakout performances from Joel Kim Booster and Bowen Yang – that simultaneously offers revolutionary representation for diverse LGBTQ+ leads in romcoms.”

Grade: A

Ema Sasic says, “Fire Island is a sweet story about friendship and supporting one another that hasn’t been enjoyed in quite some time. The cast members genuinely seem like they love one another and it translates to a good time on screen filled with plenty of laughs. Some characters feel a bit underdeveloped, but each person did get a chance to shine in one way or another. I’m already hoping there’s a sequel!”

Grade: B

Nguyen Le says, “Andrew Ahn’s direction, & more so Joel Kim Booster’s writing, is key to why Fire Island is quite the paradise. It’s an LGBT+ spin on Pride & Prejudice ablaze with wit & empathy—the conversation scenes are particularly stirring.”

Grade: B+

Fire Island is streaming on Hulu