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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Chasing Amy (1997)


If only my girlfriend was a lesbian. Then things would be very interesting.

After comic book artist Holden (Ben Affleck) falls in love with the perfect woman, Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams), he discovers she is a lesbian in this comedy from writer-director Kevin Smith. With no help from his friend, Banky (Jason Lee), Holden tries to make a relationship with Alyssa work. Although Holden knows Alyssa cares deeply about him, her homosexual past may conspire to come between them and ruin everything.

Look at every film that Smith has written/directed, and compare it to this. You’ve got Clerks, Mallrats, Zack and Miri, Clerks II, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back, and Cop Out. There are all crazy, stupid, and raunchy comedies, this is the farthest thing from.

Kevin Smith has always been perfect with showing how real people actually speak, especially when it comes to talking about dirty shit, but with this he explores more into the world of sex, love, and desire. Yes, there is that occasional raunchy bit, but Smith never gets too wild with it to the point of where we lose main focus of where we’re at. We see and hear the sexual politics that go into both sides of the sexual desire, and gender, and both sides are equally understandable. The insight is huge, and it all seems to realistic to be from a movie by slacker Kevin Smith.

The film shows us how we look at sex from one gender to another, and can either see it as something wrong, or something that has to do with love. We are always quick to judge somebody or something for what they love, or do, and never to get down to the core of what love really is. This point struck a huge core with me, and it moved me as the film went along. Smith doesn’t just badge the other sex and stay with the guy’s point of view, he gets sensitive with his points and never seems like he’s ranting or telling us how we should treat others, he’s just simply showing us the world we live in where sexual criticism is around every corner. There is also some big points on friendship brought up, and how far it gets to a point of where it actually may become something more. Smith never lets loose of the brutal reality that we face when we are in love, where we start to alienate others, and we focus on the big mistakes our lover has made in their past. We sometimes never see a person for what they are in front of our faces, but what they did in the past, and as sad as it may be, I know I have defiantly done that in the past.

However, despite all this raw and emotional stuff about love, there still is a lot of comedy, and humor that will have you chuckle. Theres crude dialogue, blunt descriptions of sex, and obviously an overkill of Star Wars and Comic book references, but it all pertains to the story, and shows how all these people live, and makes the subject material go more deeper and more accessible.

The whole cast, that was fairly un-known at the time, does a great job here. Ben Affleck in the main lead, as Holden, is kind of a deuchy character to begin with, but after awhile you get to see him as somebody more. There is one scene that really does show off his great emotional strive he can go into as an actor, where he is telling his love for Alyssa, and it seems so true and genuine. Joey Lauren Adams is perfect with the bisexual Alyssa. Her high-pitched voice may get annoying with some characters, but with her it adds on a lot more to her likability as female lead. She’s funny, raw, and overall very confused, just like any other woman in her shoes would be. The chemistry her and Affleck have feels genuine, and as the friendship builds up, you can feel the love between these two also build up. Jason Lee is also great as Affleck’s best friend, who is funny, but also jealous in a way of Affleck and his love for Alyssa.

I just wish there was so much more I could tell you how much I loved about this film. It will take you by surprise by how loving, touching, insightful, funny, and moving it really is. There is so much to see here, but don’t take my word for it, get out right now and go and see it.

Sorry guys no consensus, this is just too great for that.

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12 responses to “Chasing Amy (1997)

  1. Dan August 1, 2010 at 9:24 am

    It was so great when Kevin Smith was writing screenplays this good. Nice review, Dan!

  2. Heather August 2, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    The truth is no guy really wants their girl to be a lesbian, because a lot of the time they end up just like Affleck did in this. What a brilliant movie about relationships and people and finding out who you are. I love how bold Smith was with the writing and how honest the characters were. I don’t think it’s aged very well, but I still love it for what it was. It was a film I related a lot to in my teens.

  3. Aaron Weiss August 2, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    There was a time when Kevin Smith had something to say between his dick and fart jokes. Smith had cultural relevancy that is still unmatched.

  4. Franz Patrick August 4, 2010 at 4:19 am

    I’ve been meaning to rewatch this lately. I saw it for the first time about 5 years ago, loved it, bought the DVD 3 months ago, and… yet I still haven’t seen it. Maybe deep inside I’m worried that it might not be as good as I remembered it to be. For instance, I thought “Thir13en Ghosts” was scary way back when. I saw it recently and it was… crap.

  5. WonderGoon August 22, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Dan,
    Great review. I’ve added your blog to my blogroll.

    Regards,
    Goon

  6. Rob Reyes September 3, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Another great review, this is the best example of Smith in his prime. This is also the one movie that showed that Ben Affleck can really act his monologue was excellent. That one scene, that simple monologue, that feels so real and personal I almost don’t want it to end, that was the best writing Smith has ever done

  7. rohanberrywriter September 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I have to say hands down the best movie Kevin Smith has directed… almost making me forgive him for awful stuff like Dogma and Clerks II. I find it perplexing as to why Smith doesn’t trust his dramatic instincts a little more. I love comedy and consider far more challenging to write, but Smith proves here that maybe comedy isn’t actually his strongest hand. Joey Lauren Adams is superb, particularly in how she handles some rather outrageous later material, really facilitating the painful realism that pokes through the otherwise contrived material. Jason Lee is, as ever, immensely watchable. Whilst, Ben Affleck, much like in his latest movie The Town, almost makes me care for his sorry backside. Great review.

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