Five Movies To Watch When You’re Done With “Fire Island”

The 2022 American romantic comedy film Fire Island was released on June 3, 2022, on Hulu. The film was directed by Andrew Ahn and written by Joel Kim Booster who also stars in the film. The main cast also includes Bowen Yang, Conrad Ricamora, and Margaret Cho. Inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, the film gives a contemporary twist to the classic novel. It follows a group of queer friends spending a vacation in a gay village, the Fire Island Pines. During their weeklong vacation, they face different issues and their friendship is tested. The film has received positive reviews so far and in a review by Rolling Stone, they gave special mention to Booster saying, “There’s a winning case being made here for Booster as leading-man material, but perhaps more importantly, there’s also a territorial flag being planted in a genre that has long relegated gay people to quirky sidekick and/or moral-support roles.” The Atlantic also published a review of the film and wrote, “Some of this Pride month’s art and rhetoric will celebrate queerness as a pure font of joy, which it can be, but Fire Island also suggests that it can also force a hard look at life’s fundamental questions. Vacation, freeing as it can feel, is not liberation.” As we celebrate Pride month, here are five movies we recommend watching when you’re done with Fire Island.

Love, Simon

Similar to Fire Island, the 2018 American romantic comedy-drama film Love, Simon narrates a blossoming love story and the experience of queer individuals. The film centers on a closeted gay high school boy Simon Spier who continues to struggle with his identity and navigate his high school life. The film was directed by Greg Berlanti, with a screenplay by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, and based on the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. The film stars Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel, and Jennifer Garner. The film has received relatively positive reviews, and in a review by Vanity Fair, they praised the film saying “the film does a graceful job of illustrating Simon‘s inner turmoil—his fear not of being gay, but of life-changing too drastically when he announces that he is—while maintaining its spirited, funny, humane air.”

Alex Strangelove

Another film that explores sexual identity and the issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community is the 2018 American romantic comedy film Alex Strangelove, written and directed by Craig Johnson and starring Daniel Doheny, Antonio Marziale, and Madeline Weinstein. The film follows high school senior Alex Truelove who faces an identity crisis when he meets a gay teen at a party. His relationship with his girlfriend becomes complicated and he starts to question his sexual identity. The film received mostly positive reviews with particular praise for the actors’ performances including a review by Variety where they wrote, “this is a lively, resourceful and tightly paced enterprise, drawing uniformly good performances from well-cast actors. Design elements are colorful if occasionally over-busy, in an otherwise smooth tech package. All in all, it’s hard to dislike ‘Alex Strangelove’.”

Boy Meets Girl

Similar to Fire Island, the love story angle is as charming as the 2014 American romantic comedy-drama film Boy Meets Girl directed by Eric Schaeffer and starring Michelle Hendley. The film follows Ricky, a transgender woman from a small town in Kentucky who aspires to move to New York and be a fashion designer. One day, Ricky meets a woman named Francesca, and the two form a special bond. The film has received positive reviews from critics, especially for Hendley’s debut performance. The Hollywood Reporter praised the film in their review saying, “Boy Meets Girl has been a major success at numerous film festivals, particularly of the LGBT variety, and it’s easy to see why. It presents a moving and honest depiction of transgender issues that should be seen by any young person struggling with his or her identity.”

The Thing About Harry

Just like Fire Island, the 2020 American romantic comedy television film The Thing About Harry adds humor to narrating a queer love story. The film was written by Josh Senter and Peter Paige who also directed the film. The plot centers on Sam who gives a ride to his former high school bully Harry. The two end up going on a road trip to their hometown and begin to discover things about each other that lead to a special bond. The film stars Jake Borelli and Niko Terho in lead roles while Britt Baron and Karamo Brown, as well as director Peter Paige, appear in supporting roles. Despite an unoriginal storyline, the film provides a charming narration. In a review by Common Sense Media, they wrote, “It’s not the first LGBTQ romcom, but it may well be the first on network TV, accessible to more viewers than indie movies or streaming fare. Even better, there’s no tiptoeing around sexuality.”

Call Me By Your Name

Although having a more serious tone than Fire Island, the 2017 coming-of-age romantic drama film Call Me by Your Name also features a firey blossoming romance but also dwells on maturity and emotional development. The film is directed by Luca Guadagnino. With a screenplay by James Ivory, who also co-produced the film. It is based on the 2007 novel of the same name by André Aciman. The film is set in 1983 Italy and follows Elio, played by Timothée Chalamet, a 17-year-old teen who forms an intimate relationship with his father’s graduate student assistant, Oliver, played by Armie Hammer. The film also stars Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, and Victoire Du Bois. The film received critical acclaim and garnered several accolades. The film’s screenplay in particular has won the Best Adapted Screenplay at the 90th Academy Awards, 23rd Critics’ Choice Awards, 71st British Academy Film Awards, and the 70th Writers Guild of America Awards. It also received four Academy nominations including Best Picture and Best Actor for 22-year-old Chalamet. The New York Times published a review of the film and wrote, “Call Me by Your Name” is less a coming-of-age story, a tale of innocence and loss, than one about coming into sensibility. In that way, it is about the creation of a new man who, the story suggests, is liberated by pleasure that doesn’t necessarily establish sexual identity.” In the same article, they praised the lead performances saying, “The charismatic Mr. Chalamet, Mr. Hammer and Mr. Stuhlbarg — whose brilliant delivery of a tricky speech pierces the heart and, crucially, the movie’s lustrous patina — transform beauty into feeling.”

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