Ben Affleck
Joey Lauren Adams
Jason Lee
Jason Mewes
Kevin Smith
Matt Damon
Casey Affleck

Kevin Smith



Time: 105 mins.
Rating: R
Genre: Romance/Comedy

Smith shows his soft side in this doomed-to-fail romance about two very different people who find true love in the unlikeliest of places – each other. Granted the very nature of romantic comedies has our soon-to-be happy couple surmounting all odds to be together. However, Smith is the first person, at least to my knowledge, to make the problem keeping them apart the homosexuality of one of the lovers. Both lead characters being attracted to women is not exactly the most usual of obstacles. Instead of being cheeky and silly about the issue, Smith tackles it with honesty, humor and maturity. His characters exist in the real world, saying and doing things you may not like, but that are funny and poignant nonetheless. However, this being Smith, the film is also filled with raunchy, obnoxious and silly moments.

The story centers on two buddies, Holden and Banky, played by Ben Affleck and Jason Lee. They are best friends who work on the comic book "Bluntman and Chronic," a popular series they created together. Holden is the writer and illustrator, Banky the inker, who gets no respect. At one of the many comic book conventions they attend, Holden meets Alyssa (Adams), who also has her own book, and promptly falls in love. There's only one problem – she's not attracted to men.

So instead of becoming lovers, they become best friends, which puts a strain on Holden's friendship with Banky. Banky can't understand why Holden is wasting his time building a relationship with Alyssa. She's gay. He should just drop her and move on. However, he can't. He knows in his heart she feels the same way. When he confronts her with his love, she can't resist. The path to true love is never smooth, especially when the lovers are bogged down with a boat load of personal baggage. Their initial happiness is soon marred by the anger of their friends and a dark secret that once unearthed refuses to be reburied.

"Since you like chicks, right, do you just look at yourself naked in the mirror all the time?"

Though Holden has met the girl of his dreams, she turns out to be more than he bargained for. In the end, they emerge stronger and wiser for the experience, but not happier. I wish the movie could've ended a different way, but for once it reflected what would probably really happen. I applaud Smith for taking the road less travelled by and not giving in to a sweeter impulse. What I don't understand is Holden's solution to their problem, which is an interesting, if dumbfounding, twist in the tale. I don't want to give it away, but it's an extremely far-fetched idea that doesn't make much sense and hurts the honesty of the story.

Nevertheless, CHASING AMY is a wonderful, funny and engaging film that will have you laughing one minute and crying the next. It's a unique love story, not because it plays with the characters sexuality, but because it shows that true love cannot exist without completely accepting a person for who they are – warts and all. Affleck and Adams are great together. It will break your heart that their love doesn't last. Holden is one of his better performances. One where he turns off the smarm and gets real. It's the role that launched his career, per se, and one he should watch again to see what he was doing right. Adams reveals herself highly capable of leading lady status. I'm not sure what happened to her career, but she's a wonderful comedienne I wish we'd see more of. Lee is his usual arrogant, obnoxious self, which I find highly amusing. Jay and Silent Bob, Smith perennials, make their usual obnoxious appearance. It's a conversation you won't want to miss.

All in all, CHASING AMY is Smith's most complete and commercial picture, which just makes it all the more enjoyable. A great entry for the uninitiated to the View Askew universe.

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