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Chasing Amy
Directed by: Kevin Smith
Written by: Kevin Smith
Starring: Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee
Language: English
Look for it at the video store under: Comedy
Watch it when youíre in the mood for something: quintessentially quasi-adult, witty
The critic says: / 5 the rating system explained
Fun factor: /5

Plot synopsis Long-time friends Banky and Holden (perhaps two of the best male names ever bestowed upon characters not in a post-apocalyptic action movie) are the co-creators of Bluntman and Chronic, a small but successful comic book based on Jay and Silent Bob (known from other Kevin Smith films Clerks and Mallrats). Chasing Amy opens at a comic book convention, where Banky and Holden agree to help their friend Hooper stage a black-rage rant to gain publicity for his own comic, the wonderfully-titled White Hating Coon. Hooper adopts a Farrakhan-quoting, white-hating, black-power radical persona for his comic book audience, but in real life, heís actually a swishy gay man whose primary interests include Yanni, and pissing off Banky by outing the homosexual tendencies of the Archie gang. At the convention, Hooper introduces Banky and Holden to another comic book artist on the panel: the lovely, bright and rather promiscuous Alyssa Jones. Holden immediately falls for her, but little does he know that thereís a catch: Alyssaís a lesbian. The realization doesnít dawn on him until a few nights later, when, during an otherwise fun evening spent hanging out at a nightclub, Holden witnesses a very long kiss between Alyssa and her girlfriend. Heartbroken and very uncomfortable, Holden sucks it up and decides to pursue a friendship with her anyway. But as the relationship grows, Holden's feelings for Alyssa grow deeper, and Alyssa, surprisingly, develops feelings for Holden in return. One rainy night, Holden decides he just can't hold in his love any longer, and reveals his feelings. After a lot of soul searching, Alyssa decides that love is what she's truly after, and that it doesn't matter whether that love is with a man or a woman. Romance ensues. As an observer, Banky has a sneaky suspicion that this scenario is a disaster in the making, and, in fact, he just might be right. For soon, Alyssa finds herself ostracized by her lesbian circle for dating a guy, Banky and Holden grow farther apart, and Holden struggles with his own issues and insecurities regarding the realities of dating Alyssa.

Review Chasing Amy offers one of the best and most honest looks at a non-traditional guy-girl relationship ever seen in a romantic comedy. Kevin Smithís third film cleverly defies all the usual conventions of the age-old boy-meets-girl love story, and avoids the sickly-sweet, cutesy trappings typically associated with the genre by incorporating plenty of Smithís trademark quirky, bawdy humor. From Banky's extreme love of porn, to Hooper's antics for his White-hating Coon fans, to odd couple Jay and Silent Bob (being uncharacteristically chatty) itís obvious from the get-go that Chasing Amy isnít your usual cookie-cutter romantic comedy. Even the love triangle is far from a standard triangle, in the sense that the three involved Ė Holden, Alyssa, and Banky -- don't all want to get down each other's pants (or do they?). It's the triangle of a challenging relationship driving a wedge between two lifelong friends who are trying to make the difficult leap into adulthood together. Sounds like a boring and weepy Lifetime movie of the week? Not at all. Chasing Amy is full of wonderful writing and acting, and some of the funniest scenes Kevin Smith has ever put together (which, given the many hilarious scenes that Smith has penned over the years, is saying a lot). In one great scene, Banky and Alyssa compare sex scars-- not emotional ones, but actual physical scars from what sound like very dangerous sex lives. Itís a sly parody of the comparing-scars scene from "Jaws," and a perfect example of how Smith is able to write raw, raunchy dialogue thatís smart and witty too. Having got the sophomore slump off his back with Mallrats, Kevin Smith finally grows up with Chasing Amy, and gives us a movie thatís funny, moving, and disarmingly real.
óreviewed by Mike Weaver

Mike Weaver is a software trainer in Dearborn, MI, and an avid film buff who genuinely misses Gene Siskel, can talk like Yoda, and has actually watched Wyatt Earp starring Kevin Costner (though it took a while for him to recover).

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