Fire Island may seem like a typical romantic comedy, but its exploration of queer relationships and its happy ending highlight a quietly powerful shift in the genre. As a modern riff on Pride & Prejudice, Fire Island introduces a cast of characters that head to the titular vacation spot for a week of fun that could be their last time together on the island. Joel Kim Booster, who also wrote the screenplay, stars as Noah, the movie’s stand-in for Jane Bennet. Early in the movie, Noah meets Conrad Ricamora’s Will, Fire Island‘s Mr. Darcy. Their relationship follows a similar path akin to Darcy and Elizabeth’s, with the pair reticent to connect, mostly due to miscommunication and preconceived notions of who they think the other person is.,Throughout Fire Island, the pair finds themselves attracted to each other, while they both help their respective friends, Howie and Charlie, connect as well. For the most part, Fire Island follows the typical romantic comedy formula, but its focus on queer relationships, found family, and relationship dynamics within the queer community give the film an added layer that pushes the genre forward. When Fire Island‘s ending comes around, Noah and Will finally connect, professing their complicated feelings for each other and expressing the kinds of relationships they seek out in their lives.,More: Why LGBTQ+ Representation Is So Important In Media,During a conversation on the docks at the end of Fire Island, Will tells Noah, “I don’t think monogamy is for me,” and Noah agrees with him. The pair proceed to dance while the sunsets, sharing a kiss, and seemingly agreeing to explore a potential relationship. This moment is important for a few reasons and highlights the subtle ways Fire Island plays with the romantic comedy genre while exploring queer relationships and the LGBTQ+ community. A happy ending in a queer movie is somewhat ground-breaking in and of itself. Typically, films about LGBTQ+ characters end with some sort of heartbreak, but Fire Island smartly opts not to go that route.,Like any film genre, romantic comedies have common tropes that make them easily identifiable. Typically, rom-coms are all about the protagonist finding “the one” and falling in love with that one person. Fire Island deconstructs this in several ways, most notably with Noah and Will’s declaration that they aren’t really into monogamy. Intimate interpersonal relationships come in all different forms, and Fire Island‘s rejection of heteronormative monogamy could lay the groundwork for further exploration of polyamorous relationships in a way that not many films have done before it.,Fire Island deftly explores many subjects that romantic comedies haven’t before. From the nuances of the queer community to the socioeconomic dynamics and discrimination and microaggressions experienced by people of color in LGBTQ+ spaces, the movie tackles plenty of important things that some romantic comedies may shy away from. If there is a sequel, Fire Island 2 could take this exploration further. Regardless of whether or not that happens, Fire Island laying the groundwork for smart and dynamic entries in the genre is an important moment, and it’s clear that Noah and Will’s relationship is just one step forward for representations of different kinds of relationships in the genre.,
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