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Chasing Amy
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by Jason Whyte

"Kevin Smith's fine low-budget look at difficult relationships."
4 stars

There's something quietly amazing about the personal crisises of the characters in "Chasing Amy." They all have something they want, something they desire that they know they can't have, but lust after it anyway. It helps that Kevin Smith's characters are so well grounded in reality, yet they also possess a punchy rapport of dialogue...some of it might be a bit "rehearsed", but in Smith's world, it makes for good drama.

This is what makes "Chasing Amy" such an interesting film. The people in the film really do exist; they have jobs, they have friends. They work during the day and they spend their nights looking for love and talking about their passions, which in this case would mostly be the chase of love and the passion of comics and genre films. And then someone comes along that throws the main character off the tracks and down a new one.

The main character is Holden McNeil (Ben Affleck), who is a young, succesful independent comic book artist. He meets up with Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams), a beautiful artist who draws a small, unsucessful comic book. The two of them hit it off as friends, and Holden falls for her, assuming that this is the woman for him. But she's not all she is cracked up to be....

Yes, she's a lesbian. I'm not spoiling anything. The whole way this "discovery" scene is set up is truly something, where as Alyssa sings a "throaty rendition" of a song called "Alive," the theater audience knows she is gay, the audience in the scene knows she is gay, that pretty young girl in the white shirt is standing infront of Holden watching her in sexual hunger waiting to lurch out at her, but what's amazing is watching Holden still be oblivious to this all.

Of course, Holden does not take to this lightly, as his expectations and desires all come crashing down into impossibility. Still, Alyssa comes to him and they quickly become friends (yes sir, in one of those music montage "we're friends now" scenes, one of the film's minor flaws), even though Holden is at the breaking point. And so is his roommate, co-worker Banky (Jason Lee), who appears to be homophobic and strongly objects to Holden's lusting after Alyssa.

That's as far as I want to go really, since the rest of the film's surprises are quite well handled. I did feel the film had some very minor flaws in the aforementioned "friends montage" scene, as well as some bad cinematographic choices; bad framing is rampant through the film, with horribly framed close-ups, medium angles and long shots where the character's heads are skimming the top of the frame. It IS a low budget film, of course, but even at this dollar it looks a bit "cheap".

But I shouldn't even complain. There's a whole life, a whole world to this movie, and the situations and beliefs of the characters shine strong. This is a film that I still was involved with; even as I knew that the characters could never again be happy with one another, it is still a brutal task to watch how everything turns out. There's a scene towards the end where Holden thinks he has the answer to the problem, but we as the audience know it isn't and yet it still works, because we know the characters all are at cathartic moments with one another.

Kevin Smith is the director, and this is his third film. His first movie "Clerks" (1994) was a movie in of itself, a very funny look at two best friends who work next door to each other and get nothing done. And "Mallrats" (1995) is a flawed but likable comedy about comic-book loving dorks with no lives and are in love with girls who lost love with them.

Although I liked both of those films, "Chasing Amy" gets it right. It's a film of amazing power, as it will no doubt ring true to many young lovers and to anyone who has had an impossible love, regardless of what direction they swing in.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=214&reviewer=350
originally posted: 03/22/04 02:16:55
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User Comments

9/12/17 morris campbell good funny flick 4 stars
7/05/12 Blair nonstop crappy dialogue made the movie feel like a marathon of awefuleness 1 stars
12/31/09 Dane Youssef One of the grandest romantic comedies ever made. Stellar acting & screenplay. 5 stars
4/13/09 FrankNFurter Deeply offensive, homophobic "I can turn a lesbian straight" bullshit;Smith & Affleck wish! 1 stars
12/12/08 brian c. This story is my love life in a nutshell. Hilarious and touching. 5 stars
4/12/07 mb She was emotionally right, but movie was redemtively empty. 3 stars
3/27/07 fools♫gold Though Dogma comes close, we'd never see another Clerks masterpiece from Kevin Smith again. 3 stars
8/11/06 nicolecrom2678 Great movie! Funny. a must see 5 stars
2/26/06 Steven Lewis I like the very smart dialogue but Affleck just isn't ..an..actor. 4 stars
6/11/05 matt i luv this movie. givs me that feelin i rarely get wen watching 1. my no. 1!!must c 4 any1! 5 stars
3/19/05 magaafi original & gr8! 5 stars
12/14/04 Tom Benton Smith's best film: profane yet sweet, as well as hilarious; a touching move up from Clerks. 5 stars
9/19/04 Daveman Amateurishly directed but intelligently written, a memorable romantic comedy. 4 stars
7/07/04 Denise very funny 4 stars
6/27/04 Peter Williams A very frank movie about an issue thats a non-issue today 5 stars
5/16/04 DM Smarter and more honest than all those trite Hollywood romances 5 stars
4/13/04 slayathon One of my absolute favorites. The whole speech scene makes me cry!!! 5 stars
4/08/04 kevin watts one of my fave kevin smith movies 4 stars
3/26/04 Melissa Gaugert Classic Kevin Smith - good stuff 4 stars
3/26/04 Vikki Fox you gotta love kevin smiths films - the best 5 stars
3/25/04 rojo Still holds up after multi viewings 5 stars
3/25/04 bruce miller saw it a few months ago, and don't remember much about it 3 stars
3/24/04 Margie so awesome... my favorite Smith movie 5 stars
3/23/04 Leslie Lato Entertaining movie. 4 stars
3/21/04 Daveman Jason Lee, irritating whiney twat, the perfect role for him. Good film though. 4 stars
3/21/04 Desperado Great fucking grown up movie from Smith, and one of the best endings ever 5 stars
2/02/04 biggerprom A bit dodgy but ulitimately entertaining 4 stars
1/23/04 Ming Chen Kevin Smith sucks 1 stars
1/14/04 Suresh In my top five -- you could learn a lot 5 stars
12/24/03 Samuel not nearly enough comedy for a Kevin Smith film, but still a great film 4 stars
8/21/03 R.W. Welch Oops, sorry, must have nodded off. First half was too talky with an amateurish aura to it. 2 stars
5/12/03 joker-smoker-toker verry little jay & silent bob. jason lee turned into a wuss. and ben asscrack! was in it 2 stars
3/21/03 Jack Sommersby A very lively, perceptive comedy/drama. Adams, though, presses too hard. 4 stars
2/06/03 thejames Great fucking movie and true as hell. 5 stars
10/27/02 Matt Neopalitano Great date flick (even if you're not bisexual)! 4 stars
10/26/02 MarktheShark6 I named my goldfish Banky after I saw Jason Lee's performance. It's just an awesome movie. 5 stars
9/29/02 Fuze44 If only I could have seen this movie first. 5 stars
9/03/02 Joe Zappa Call me an ass--kisser, but Kevin Smith has made one of the greatest movies ever made. 5 stars
8/26/02 Martin YAY LESBIANS AND BEN AFFLECK! 5 stars
7/29/02 Mac Smiths Greatest, I can really relate to this film-well not the comics or the lesbian gf 5 stars
7/23/02 Roy Smith Smith's most intelligent, mature, and impressive work. Excellent! 5 stars
7/12/02 Anarchy Azmi what the fuck???? 1 stars
5/18/02 Peter vanHaaften More incest 4 stars
4/30/02 Phoenix Kevin Smith's best movie. Well written and acted. 5 stars
4/05/02 NWO4LIFE Good, but talky and a somewhat poor ending. 4 stars
3/03/02 Andrew Carden Overrated White Trash Movie. Dumb Plot, and Corny One-Liners. 2 stars
2/03/02 Cameron Ovo Not his best 3 stars
1/02/02 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was OK but, it proved that there is nothing wrong with gays or Lezos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
12/05/01 Bada Bing Crosby Not a total success but says more than a ton of other movies about people 5 stars
11/08/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) This movie kicks ass! It's AWESOME! 5 stars
10/07/01 Hogwash The best View Askew picture by far... 5 stars
9/05/01 Gary Meandering, low on plot development & sporadically funny. Affleck & Lee are good though. 2 stars
9/01/01 Butterbean Ben had a homo hairstyle, and the film had too much talk in it. But it was good. 4 stars
8/18/01 Edwin Menguin Smith is overrated, unfunny tedious and stilted. Daft CUNTS! 1 stars
8/13/01 artpaws quit after 40 minutes; pacing is tedious unless these are life & death issues for you 1 stars
7/26/01 mn A bit too talky at times, but good. 4 stars
7/05/01 mjm103171 Between an awesome story and Ben Affleck....It kicked ASS! 5 stars
6/20/01 Colonel Stitchface Engrossing dialogue w/ some inventive storytelling tricks. The best of Smith's canon so far 5 stars
6/13/01 Law Firm of Dewey, Cheatam & Howe Get up here and sing, bitch! 5 stars
6/06/01 King Jackass I love you... not in a friendly way 5 stars
5/31/01 BrainPan Jason Lee is dope. Ben Hackfest is actually decent. Her whoreness leaves me uncomfortable 4 stars
5/19/01 kingjackass222 good and funny, but too dramatic and long 4 stars
5/09/01 Stephen Woods Who the fuck is Andrew Burt and Warren Lewis? Damn good movie 5 stars
5/03/01 Gracy Lionheart A good film if you like a lot of dialogue like I do. 4 stars
4/28/01 The Jedi Droid Jason Lee is the best part of the film..."What's a Noobian?" 5 stars
2/20/01 Rocket Boy Raunchy and irrisitable. 5 stars
2/13/01 Jake Very deep message makes up for nastiness throughout. got quite an edge 4 stars
12/19/00 denise By far one of the best from the view askew crew 5 stars
12/17/00 Trina A little borning at times 3 stars
8/08/00 lily percy The best and most honest romantic comedy of all time... 5 stars
7/13/00 humbert some really good things in this film but she BUGS me! 3 stars
7/12/00 Carth a wicked view askew 5 stars
6/14/00 Zippo XxX Of all the Great Works of Kevin Smith, i found my self wondering what i have just seen... 3 stars
6/11/00 Micah S. nasty little movie that stupid people think has a great female performance from adams. Crap 1 stars
5/19/00 Elvisfan aside from too many temper tantrums/screaming fits by Joey, its a great GREATmovie 5 stars
5/11/00 Girl9 If you like watching films about the dynamics of relationships, this is a MUST see. 4 stars
5/04/00 Ken an instant classic! 5 stars
4/26/00 The Bomb 69 well written, acted, and directed 5 stars
4/02/00 JoAnna Rohrbaugh great movie! frank and revealing take on sexuality and male - female relationships. 5 stars
3/15/00 Chloe Sesta Jacobs I LUV BEN AFFLECK 5 stars
2/28/00 Aidan Fucking great film, most emotionally demading film of the 90's. Except the first 1/2 hour 5 stars
1/09/00 Will not bad at all 4 stars
11/30/99 Dr. Acula Very good flick up until the end, 3 some thing seems a tad unbelievable 3 stars
11/08/99 [KingMob] Finally a love story with a bit of reality in it. 5 stars
10/26/99 Glitter Berry The quintessential "love that could not be" flick. Smith is a genious. 5 stars
10/26/99 Karahde Khan The 'Star Wars' scene was great, but the rest of the movie was stupid. Overrated. 2 stars
10/25/99 will what more can i say. kevin smith rules, this is just further proof. 5 stars
10/11/99 Jared snoogans 5 stars
9/19/99 vickie one of the few original stories out there. SEE this film! 5 stars
8/26/99 LushZero the best kevin smith film 5 stars
8/25/99 Steven Great film. Realistic dialogue. Great non-hollywood ending! 5 stars
8/25/99 Steven Great film. Realistic dialogue. Great non-hollywood ending! 5 stars
8/25/99 Steven Great film. Realistic dialogue. Great non-hollywood ending! 5 stars
8/25/99 Steven Great film. Realistic dialogue. Great non-hollywood ending! 5 stars
8/25/99 Steven Great film. Realistic dialogue. Great non-hollywood ending! 5 stars
8/21/99 Olivia Neutron-Bomb Someone please yank out Joey's vocal cords..and yank the sentimental tripe out of this film 1 stars
7/19/99 Duck Brilliant! Everyone must see this film! 5 stars
7/08/99 The Bomb 69 Jason Lee carried this film 5 stars
7/06/99 Dax Kevin Smith shows he can do more than just a vulgar comedy. 5 stars
7/03/99 J-Dogg Great film but OVERLY dramatic. Didn't laugh much either. 4 stars
5/27/99 Lisa Worth a 2nd look if you caught it the first time around. Ben's best role yet. 4 stars
5/02/99 PJ Muff diving injury comparison. Need I say more? 5 stars
4/19/99 Lovebug Very funny! Before I became an Affleck-devotee I thought he was terrific in this story. 4 stars
4/13/99 Ami the Wonderbread What can I say It was amazing and funny and frank and fantastic and thoughtful 5 stars
4/11/99 disgusted Ben must have been really hard up for cash to do this piece of shit. 2 stars
4/11/99 Alonzo (alc311@hotmail.com) Joey Lauren Adams and Dwight Ewell stole the show, excellent movie 5 stars
4/10/99 Tristynn This is the Ben we know and love.. Kevin is brilliant,.. simply brilliant.. go Ben go.. 5 stars
4/09/99 Randall Best of 97, one of my all favorites, one of only three films to make me cry 5 stars
4/07/99 Daun Harner Only mindless insipid people do not like this film. Clever writing and acting! 5 stars
4/07/99 Dave See Albert's response- Right on the fuckin' money! 1 stars
4/05/99 Michael Grimm Kick ass! Affleck & Lee are god 5 stars
4/03/99 Albert Woof, totally overrated. JLA cannot act her way out of a producer's bed. 1 stars
3/29/99 Michael not bad not good 2 stars
3/28/99 Jefferson This sucked my dick 1 stars
3/28/99 Ebert's twin Somone needs to bitchslap Affleck for being in this shitty movie 1 stars
3/28/99 HeatherLadyBug Kevin is AMAZING! Keep it up Jersy man 5 stars
3/27/99 TJwills Kevin Smith? GOD! Affleck's a pretty damn good actor too. Not to mention Jason Lee. 5 stars
3/17/99 Madcap not the best of the three...almost too trendy and hip for its own good 3 stars
3/13/99 Paste I loved this so much that I actually bought a copy of the video. 5 stars
3/07/99 BabbaBooey Touching, funny, it spoke to the way most men have relationships in the 90's--OOhh, Yanni!! 5 stars
3/01/99 Rachel Fran Drescher's voice is more annoying than Joey's. Great flick, tho. Kevin Smith is a GOD! 5 stars
2/28/99 Blythe Its the film I own multiple copies of. 5 stars
2/28/99 Ken This movie was so damn funny! The only down side was that there wasn't enough Silent Bob! 5 stars
2/23/99 trussell@contactdallas.com This is, by far, the best "smith flick" yet. Nothing but the best from Kevin!!!!! 5 stars
2/23/99 Scott To qoute the good folks @ Disney "See it again" 5 stars
2/18/99 Nibby7 The best of Smiths NJ trilogy, but not the funniest. 5 stars
2/04/99 De Lacey Words can't describe it 5 stars
1/31/99 Vick Di Brecci On a par with Annie Hall, underrated acting, deserving of all its praise. 4 1/2 to 5 stars 5 stars
1/24/99 YellerDog Can't Wait For Dogma! 5 stars
1/19/99 Worthy Great movie. 5 stars
1/12/99 Melissa Simply brilliant 5 stars
1/11/99 Vincent Kevin is my friend! 5 stars
1/11/99 TNT This is so fucking gay. Jay and Silent Bob were pretty cool as was Jason Lee. 2 stars
1/11/99 Shane Brandon Great Movie - I loved it in the theater and i love it on tape 5 stars
1/07/99 demon_shredder Aside from being pretty funny, this movie sucked all ass 1 stars
1/01/99 randy F i love it 5 stars
12/22/98 PirateGirl Interesting. Funny at times. 4 stars
12/06/98 Slupet Very funny. kicked ass. 5 stars
12/03/98 Mike F this movie rocks ass. LESBIANS! what more could you ask for? 5 stars
11/26/98 Mr.Pink Very funny and Smith's most mature film to date. 4 stars
11/25/98 Jack Aster what's a nubian? 5 stars
11/25/98 katharina ooh, yanni! some of the best dialogue, although explicit. and you gotta love ben and kev. 5 stars
11/25/98 Fred This movie only pales to Clerks. Jay and Silent Bob could save a Sandra Bullock movie. 5 stars
11/24/98 Linda Please see this movie...some of Kevin and Ben's best work ever...pre Dogma! 5 stars
11/18/98 MinxxDaShorty I cant belive this movie came from clerks and mallrats fame!!!! Very disapionting 2 stars
11/16/98 Gamma Fuck you K-Dog! This movie is terrific. Great story and dialogue. Kevin does it again! 5 stars
11/06/98 grunter everygeek's delusional wet dream brought to the silverscreen, directorial masturbation 3 stars
11/01/98 MR HOLLYWOOD !! if it wasnt an indie film it would of won OSCAR!,great story,FRESH & original... 5 stars
10/26/98 Silent Rob Who the hell writes this shit? noonch! 5 stars
10/23/98 Timmy C Brilliant even compared to Clerks. 5 stars
10/22/98 Snooch Snickety Snooch 5 stars
10/18/98 Kwyjibo Fight the fanboys. Direction was weak. Script was funny. Sentiment awry. 3 stars
10/16/98 Bryan Incredible. Kevin Smith jumps from very good to GREAT with this film 5 stars
10/14/98 tom good film jason lee is funny as hell 5 stars
10/12/98 tom great film---kevin smith taking direction to the next level as always 5 stars
10/02/98 wind one of the best. ben rules. joey's hot! kevin's a genious. 5 stars
9/28/98 Marty in St.Louis Walt Flanagan is truly an actor to be noticed, I see big things in this acting dynamo. 5 stars
9/24/98 Armageddon Great movie.. Not as good as funny as first two, but also not supposed to be. 4 stars
9/22/98 Johny Kevin Smith's best yet 5 stars
9/20/98 Maegs A heartbreaking look at modern relationships, its a fair look from both sides of the fence 5 stars
9/16/98 cheryl_ann i cried at the end when banky said bye. it made me sad. 5 stars
9/16/98 Bbanks2908 Funny as shit just as good as Clerks if not better> 5 stars
9/13/98 Chip Taylor The new spin to romantic comedies. Its the best romance yet. Lesbos.Lesbos.Lesbos! 5 stars
9/05/98 Kid Pee-Pee I agree with K-Dog. WE all wanted this to be good, but it just wasn't great. Awful framing. 3 stars
9/03/98 Badass I saw this three times at the theaters within a week. Astonishing! 5 stars
9/03/98 Scott Taylor Not the amazing "work of art" it's devotees claim it is, but a good film. 4 stars
8/31/98 kooky sal The chick singin was too much. 4 stars
8/27/98 Chuck-D It makes me cry evey time I see it. I guess that's what sex with lesbians gets you. 5 stars
8/25/98 Pete Great film. Affleck becomes a star. Adams may have been acting over her head. 5 stars
8/24/98 Zach Hyatt If you're not close minded, this movie will blow you away. 5 stars
8/22/98 Superfly Better than Clerks and Mallrats, just not as funny. 5 stars
8/22/98 Mister Whoopee No midgets, no monkeys. 4 stars
8/17/98 Mike F Great flick. 5 stars
8/16/98 Johny More than just funny 5 stars
8/15/98 J-Guy Good flick. Adams needs to get a less irritating voice. 5 stars
8/15/98 {{{OZ}}} A good film but something was missing. Dialogue is the star o'the show 4 stars
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  04-Apr-1997 (R)


  03-Jul-1997 (MA)

Directed by
  Kevin Smith

Written by
  Kevin Smith

  Andrew Burt
  Joey Lauren Adams
  Jason Lee
  Warren Lewis
  Jason Mewes
  Kevin Smith

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