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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Advertisement
Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

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.