Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse series has started out as a piece of art and the second film was the most underwhelming poor comedy. Kevin Smith realized his faults with Mallrats and he wanted to go back to that down-to-earth film making that Clerks will forever be remembered. Upon the development of the film, Kevin Smith went through a tragic break-up with his girlfriend and this motivated him to make the third movie of the View Askewniverse series. Out of all of Kevin Smith’s movies, this one is the most serious out of his films, which is a very interesting approach from a guy who likes to make mature comedy films. More often than not, comedians really don’t know how to make a serious story interesting but some how, some way, Kevin Smith pulled off some of the best romantic films ever made. He used the same cast from Mallrats and put them to their full potential in acting and their delivery.
Right from the get-go, this is proceeded as a romantic-comedy film but as I already stated, this is the most serious out of Kevin Smith’s films because there is very little comedy towards the end. Usually, romantic-comedies are considered a “chick-flick” because their demographic is for women who are obsessed with the romantic genre, but throughout the corse of this film, it doesn’t feel like a chick-flick; it felt like a guy’s movie. Why? Because the premise of the film is a comic book artist falling in-love with a lesbian… wow! Now who wouldn’t want to see this film after hearing the concept?
As stated earlier, Kevin Smith brought back the cast from Mallrats and they put all the actors who played a small role from that film into main characters in Chasing Amy. Remember Ben Affleck who was a bully-boyfriend from Mallrats, now he’s the main character Holden McNeil. Holden is a struggling artist who’s trying to make his comic book series, Bluntman and Chronic (who are Jay & Silent Bob as superheroes), to sell well. He’s teamed up with his best friend, Banky Edwards (played by Jason Lee once again as a main supporting character), who’s his inker and roommate. These two felt like the dynamic duo until Holden meets a beautiful woman named Alyssa Jones (played by Joey Lauren Adams) who was there to support Holden and Banky to make Bluntman and Chronic successful, but that somehow motivated Holden to intimacy, despite the fact that she’s a lesbian… or so it seems.
I really love the beginning of the film for it was trying to sell the Jay and Silent Bob characters into comic book pages during the credit scenes. At first it was confusing to see what kind of movie is Chasing Amy but later on it just opens up to a comic book convention where Holden and Banky are trying to promote their comic book series having a few problems with comic book fans. The beginning of the movie is actually the funniest part of the movie then later on at the part where Holden & Banky were invited to drink with Alyssa and found out that she’s into girls, it all gets more and more serious towards the story telling of Holden turning his friendship with Alyssa into a romantic relationship. But this also wrecks the friendship with Banky as he kept telling him that it will never work.
I was so sold into the dialog as it really fit perfectly towards sexuality and the lifestyle that we choose. I mean, we get a chance to see a point of view of both why we chose either the opposite sex and the same sex interest. We’re also getting a chance to see really strong character development towards abandonment and distraction as we see all the characters evolving into a different person. As Banky kept telling Holden that what he’s actually doing is way beyond stupidity, Holden gets very defensive towards everything Banky says about Alyssa and tries further to get closer to her. Now this is a daring move considering that there are a lot of liberal gay-rights activists who are easily offended towards discrimination, but this movie does indeed make sure that both sides of straight and gay have their say on their beliefs. I find it all the more fascinating that this communication of sexuality does tackle the spirituality within us. There are scenes where Banky and Alyssa discusses about battle scars during sex, Holden telling Alyssa that the only way to loose virginity is through male and female, Banky trying to prove to Holden that once a person is either gay or straight they can never jump to the other home team, and so much more! This movie really has no shame towards this subject.
This was all build-up towards the turning point of Holden’s confession towards Alyssa as being in-love with her after all the fun they both had together. That very scene where he finally confesses his feeling towards her was some of the most engaging scene I’ve ever witnessed in a romantic film for it shows Alyssa’s anger towards Holden not respecting her lifestyle choice and how much she desperately not want to be involved with another man. That shot was so good that it certainly matches up to Clerk’s phenomenal camera shot which we no longer see in Kevin Smith’s directing. Why? Because there’s hardly any camera editing that it felt real. After all that build-up and reasons in the world that the connection between Holden and Alyssa was there, she turns around and kisses him with an emotional passion as the rain pours down on them.
Now at the course of the film, Holden now seeks why she somehow turned a lesbian into a relationship with a man who’s straight as an ox. Then the jealousy of Banky starts to appear as he tries his best to find who Alyssa really is and this movie, surprisingly, gave us a plot-twist! And this twist fully explains why Alyssa decided to be in relationships with women before she met Holden. This is a very different romantic movie that has everything that you’ll never expect. This movie became so much more emotional towards the end where almost everything falls apart and it left the audience speechless. This is a prime example why I think Kevin Smith is both a great director & writer because even though his comedy isn’t really the best ever, but underneath those laughs comes a spiritual, emotional, and sexual subject that somehow ends up in all of his movies that get people thinking.
Since this movie is set in the View Askewniverse, where the hell is Jay and Silent Bob? Well they only made one appearance in this movie and it was to give Holden the message about love and what exactly is Chasing Amy about. This was some of the best appearance of Jay and Silent Bob ever as it comes emotionally towards situation the characters are in. Funny that these two characters are at the poster/movie cover of the film and they only give out one scene in the entire film, but it was a very good scene
I was left speechless that such a movie has ever been so mature towards the subject matter of the lifestyles these people chose in their sex lives. While Mallrats was a totally cartoony comedy, this is a day-and-night difference of being as real and as human as possible. I really felt a deep connection towards all the characters in this film and it was actually a convincing and very interesting relationship between Holden and Alyssa as it delivered some of the most well acted roles ever seen in a romantic film. It showed at getting into a relationship changes everything, the two people falling in love, the performance at work, and even your friends who look at you differently these were great messages towards romance in general. Bar-none, this is the beginning of Kevin Smith’s success in budget as it had a budget of $250,000 and it came back to an over $12,000,000 at the box office. Just like Clerks, Chasing Amy is filled with explicit dialog as it really is conversations and words that ordinary people would actually say. If you’re coming in to see Chasing Amy expecting to laugh hard, be prepared to be disappointed as it is Kevin Smith’s most serious film, but if you’re coming in hoping that this movie is as intelligent and as emotional as Clerks was, you’re in for a real treat! I’m still having a hard time deciding whether Clerk or Chasing Amy is Kevin Smith’s best movie but being that this movie does take risks that has never been done before (in terms of the content it brings) it was indeed some of the best romantic movies I’ve ever seen!
Things I love
- The scene where Holden confesses his love for Alyssa
- Jay & Silent Bob’s appearance and Bob’s message on what Chasing Amy is
- The tragic ending towards the end left me emotional
Things I like
- The dialog of sexuality as it get people thinking of their own choice in preference
- Comic Book references as it does show Kevin Smith’s love for comics
- Alyssa is some of the best girlfriend characters ever!
- The opening of the film where Holden and Banky were in a comic book convention
- Everything was down-to-Earth
Things I dislike
- Banky comes as a total douchebag when he tries to stop Holden from falling in love with Alyssa
Things I hate
The Top Lister’s score for Chasing Amy – 6 out of 5