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Fire Island gains Pride from Jane Austen

To play off Jane Austen’s famous opening line for Pride and Prejudice, it is a truth universally acknowledged…that a good story can bear retelling in many fashions. Cinematically, Pride and Prejudice comes in several straightforward versions, plus one with a Bollywood twist and another that includes zombies.

The gay scene puts a different dimension on the Pride and Prejudice story in Fire Island, streaming on Hulu. The timeless rom-com pursuits Jane wrote about transfer easily to a family of choice group gathering on New York’s Fire Island for a two-week celebration that includes events like an underwear party. Played by the project's screenwriter Joel Kim Booster, Noah the narrator quickly discounts as quote “hetero nonsense” Jane’s opening line about every single man looking for a wife.

But as Noah discovers, some men want a monogamous relationship. And, encompassing other timeless elements from Jane, Noah sees class and status issues that cross centuries into almost any society. While no one needs to wear empire dresses in Noah’s updated world, he joins Jane in realizing the value of a good dance scene.

Well, throw in some karaoke too, with highlights coming from Saturday Night Live’s Bowen Yang as Noah’s best friend. Well cast throughout, Fire Island also provides a chance for comedian Margaret Cho to shine. Screenwriter Booster maintains a light, insightful touch, enhanced by brisk direction from Andrew Ahn.

Thoroughly R-rated, the movie features sex and language that would never pass muster in a Masterpiece Theater world. The tone and content remain fun, but yes, Jane Austen might roll in her grave about it. But then, she probably wouldn’t get zombies either.

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