Enveloped within the racy language and explicit sexual content of this film are some hearteningly authentic messages about friends, family, and romantic love.
That duality makes Fire Island a journey of discovery for viewers as much as for the characters, who find love in unexpected places, Pride and Prejudice-style.
We're guided along by the straight-talking and drily funny narration of Noah (played by Joel Kim Booster, who also wrote the script). It proves helpful to have him as a tour guide for the island's traditional festivities, and Booster also takes on a tongue-in-cheek anthropologist's tone in explaining some aspects of the gay community.
Of course, this group can't represent an entire community. The eclectic ensemble represents a makeshift family of gay friends eschewed by family and -- in the case of the Asian men especially -- mistreated by others.
There will be people -- gay and not -- turned off by the film's portrayal of promiscuity and partying. But that's where the genuine love stories of Howie and Charlie and Noah and Will come in to balance things out.
A climactic "pre-9/11 rom-com" style ending for one pair, and a romantic dance on the pier for another, offer satisfying and surprisingly traditional closure for the on-screen couples.
Read the full review at Common Sense Media.
Images courtesy of Hulu.