Movie Of The Day: Chasing Amy (1997)

Note: This marks the third in a series of “Movies Of The Day” that covers writer/director/actor Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse films. For the reviews of the first two films, Clerks. and Mallrats, click here and here respectively.

Holden McNeil and Banky Edwards are two comic book artists working on Bluntman And Chronic, a superhero series they created based on the dealing/mischief making duo Jay and Silent Bob. At a comic book convention, Holden meets female colleague Alyssa Jones and quickly develops an attraction, but there’s one problem, the fact that she’s lesbian. The two nevertheless strike a strong friendship and Holden falls harder and harder for Alyssa, much to the annoyance of Banky.

Chasing Amy stars Ben Affleck (Hollywoodland), Jason Lee (Alvin And The Chipmunks), Joey Lauren Adams (The Break-Up) and Dwight Ewell (The Guru). Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith reprise their roles from the previous films, Brian O’Halloran makes an appearance as another of his Clerks. character’s cousins and Ethan Suplee (Mr. Woodcock), Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone), Matt Damon (the Bourne series) and comic book legend Joe Quesada all make appearances. Trailer and review after the jump.

Mallrats‘ critical and financial disappointment paired with the studio’s refusal to let Smith use the actors he wanted for Chasing Amy led the filmmaker to rejoin the “independent” route for the film. This is actually rather positive in that despite the severely reduced budget, originally supposed to be 3 million dollars, the movie thus retains the essence of what’s good in Smith’s style and gets rid of the worse elements of the somewhat overloaded Mallrats.

As with all of Kevin Smith’s works, Chasing Amy is filled with references to various comic books and movies, including of course Star Wars in a very funny rant near the beginning of the film. His other staple, the large presence of profanity, is of course also followed, but as in his previous movies the profanity isn’t offensive but genuinely funny and written with taste. And aside from all the jokes, which are plentiful, one must acknowledge that this is easily the most serious-minded of Kevin Smith’s first three films, and that the filmmaker pulls off perfectly the balance between drama and comedy.

It’s thus easy to see why Chasing Amy is widely viewed by critics as Kevin Smith’s best film, winning two Independent Spirit Awards and receiving nominations from several sources including the Golden Globes and the MTV Movie Awards. The film was also a big financial success, earning more than 48 times its budget of 250000 dollars and is often credited as the film that helped make a star out of Ben Affleck.

Verdict: Funny and serious at the same time in a perfect balance. Chasing Amy currently holds a 7.5/10 on IMDB and a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.

More “Movies Of The Day”

1 thought on “Movie Of The Day: Chasing Amy (1997)

  1. Like a raw nerve tweaked over and over again by emotions both radiant and revealing, Chasing Amy is as close to a masterpiece as Smith has ever created. It’s also one of my all-time favorites.

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