Chasing Amy

"Excellent"

Chasing Amy Review


The intro sequence of Chasing Amy, comic book frames of oddly familiar characters, informs us immediately that we are entering the world of Kevin Smith. That world is one over-populated with comic book fanatics, philosophical drug dealers, and ambitionless twenty-somethings. To Smith, the film's director, that world is New Jersey.

Like characters found in other recent Gen X movies, Smith's heroes are unjustifiably hip. Chasing Amy there are two groups of characters, Jersey boys afraid of the city, and fixtures of the NYC underground. But regardless of background, every character in Chasing Amy is poised with a witty remark or comical/philosophical riff on love or life. Smith even highlights the (self)-importance of his protagonist, played by Ben Affleck, by unabashedly naming him after the coolest literary character of the twentieth century, Holden Caulfield.

Going well beyond other Gen X movies such as Swingers and Reality Bites, Chasing Amy embraces the new generation with an unparalleled frankness. Although this boy-meets-lesbian love story is more mature than Smith's earlier work, its never before seen subject matter is indicative of Smith's predilection for ignoring the taboos of film. Frank discussions of sex and perversion are common in Smith's world of wordy, quick-paced diatribes long on profanity. Smith tackles this material with characters and situations that come across, despite their wit, as strikingly awkward and realistic. They never have the perfect line to describe their emotions or what they want. Their attempts to riff on their problems en route to solving them display a realistic ineptitude in dealing with serious problems. Either the characters have too much to say or nothing at all, but in all cases the outcome of these slipshod attempts is bad. Although the intermittent stupidity and vulgarity of Smith's characters is sometimes painful to watch, the film's refreshing realism is an invaluable experience.

Despite this powerful subtext, Smith's world is not devoid of humor. Though self-absorbed, all of Smith's characters are quite amusing, and the plot development, camera work, and editing in Chasing Amy capitalize on the humor in every situation. In one instance, an atypical riff on sexual acts leads to a fierce comparison of sex wounds and a game of one-upmanship that riotously parodies such battle scar comparisons from Lethal Weapon and the adventure film genre. Smith's hand-held camera and static long takes also serve to focus action within the frame and on the borders, which he uses for comical and emotional effect.

In all cases, Smith's awkward situations, for both the characters and audience, play off of traditional film structure in which everything fits together seamlessly. In Smith's world, you can count on only one thing: when Silent Bob (played by Smith himself) finally speaks (and he will) he is going to say something profound.

Not Selena.



Chasing Amy

Facts and Figures

Run time: 113 mins

In Theaters: Friday 4th April 1997

Box Office Worldwide: $12M

Budget: $250 thousand

Distributed by: Miramax Films

Production compaines: Miramax Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 73 Rotten: 10

IMDB: 7.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Holden McNeil, as Alyssa Jones, as Banky Edwards, as Hooper LaMont, as Silent Bob, as Collector, as Fan, as Little Kid, as Jay, as Exec. #1, as Exec. #2

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Alice Through the Looking Glass Movie Review

Alice Through the Looking Glass Movie Review

This much more light-hearted sequel reinvigorates the franchise after Disney's quirky but murky 2010 reboot...

Love & Friendship Movie Review

Love & Friendship Movie Review

Acclaimed filmmaker Whit Stillman reunites the stars of his 1998 drama The Last Days of...

Money Monster Movie Review

Money Monster Movie Review

A sleekly made thriller with a sparky sense of humour, this is also a rare...

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

This closing chapter of the First Class trilogy falls into the same trap as The...

Sing Street Movie Review

Sing Street Movie Review

A buoyant celebration of the power of music, this is the third blissfully entertaining musical...

Departure Movie Review

Departure Movie Review

Complex, dark and very moving, this British drama never makes things easy for the audience,...

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Richard Linklater loosely follows on from two of his most acclaimed films with this lively...

Advertisement
Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

John le Carre's novel is adapted with plenty of inventive style into a remarkably personal...

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

There's nothing particularly memorable about this frantic animated romp, which adapts the iconic phone-app game...

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

While it's amusing and sometimes very funny, there's an air of desperation about this sequel...

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Although this comedy-drama seems to have been written specifically to give Meryl Streep a chance...

I Saw the Light Movie Review

I Saw the Light Movie Review

Writer-director Marc Abraham gets ambitious with this biopic about iconic country music star Hank Williams,...

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were...

Son of Saul Movie Review

Son of Saul Movie Review

From Hungary, this year's Oscar-winning foreign film is a remarkably fresh take on the Holocaust...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.