Thursday, June 27, 2013

100 Movies That Make Me Love Film: 32. Chasing Amy

32. Chasing Amy

In the summer of 2000 my friend Jesse and I discovered Kevin Smith. Within a week we exposed to all of his films at that point. We all agreed that of the 4 that we saw (Clerks - Dogma) Chasing Amy was all our least favorite. It remained my least favorite until my junior year of high school when I had my first serious girlfriend. Perhaps it was my first experience of being in love but Chasing Amy suddenly went from my least favorite of Smith’s movies to my second favorite a location it has remained in (surprisingly Cop Out and Red State didn’t dethrone it).

Chasing Amy tells the story of Holden McNeil and his best friend Banky Edwards. The two are the authors and artists for their hit comic series Bluntman & Chronic (inspired by Jay and Silent Bob). At a comic convention Holden meets indie comic writer Alyssa Jones and quickly falls in love. There’s only one small problem, Alyssa is gay. However after hanging out for a few months Holden confesses his love and Alyssa and him end up a couple.

Banky doesn’t like or trust Alyssa and digs up her sexual past of having a threesome with two dudes in high school. Holden is disturbed by this and confronts her about it. The two break up. Holden proposes that if him, Banky and Alyssa have a threesome then he’d feel better about everything. Alyssa leaves and Banky and Holden’s friends crumbles ending their popular comic series.

Banky and Alyssa don’t see Holden again until a convention the next year where he arrives to promote his new comic book Chasing Amy based on the love triangle.

Chasing Amy is easily the best script Kevin Smith has ever written. Much like Dogma and Clerks, you can feel a real passion in this script. Kevin has said that the script was inspired by his relationship with Joey Lauren Adams (who plays Alyssa Jones) and feeling inadequate sexually compared to her. Watching the film you can really hear the sincerity of the dialogue including the films best monologue when Holden confesses his love to Alyssa.

This movie helped expose the world to Ben Affleck (although he had appeared in films and TV shows like Dazed and Confused, Mallrats and The Voyage of the Mimi) and still stands as one of his best performances ever. Kevin Smith has reportedly claimed that it was on the set of Chasing Amy that Ben and Matt Damon (who has a small cameo) first showed him their script for Good Will Hunting which he gave to the Weinstein Brothers. 

I wish there was more I had to say about this particular film but saying I love it seems to do enough justice in my mind. If you’ve never seen this film or you’re just not a fan of Kevin Smith, you should give this one a chance. I think it’ll surprise you.

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