Holden and Banky are comic book artists. Everything’s going good for them until they meet Alyssa, also a comic book artist. Holden falls for her, but his hopes are crushed when he finds out she’s a lesbian.
Year 1, Day 152
BEFORE: Continuing with the Ben Affleck chain, we have the first pre-2000 film in over a week, Chasing Amy. This film also marks the first film in the marathon from Kevin Smith, a director who has a large cult following. I actually haven’t seen any of his films before so I’m not sure what to expect. From preliminary research on the film, it seems to have gotten great reviews so I should be in for a good time.
AFTER: Most of the time, there are certain parts in films that excel and others that just fall flat. With Chasing Amy the quality varied wildly throughout the film with some of the bad elements becoming good and vice versa. The biggest example that comes to mind is the acting. For most of the film, the acting is extremely poor and doesn’t come across as sincere. Chasing Amy deals with a lot of big relationship issues that require lots of thought and reflection to process and understand. But for most of the film, everyone (Affleck, Adams, and Lee) is just whining, arguing, and laughing in such a fake way that there’s nothing helping the viewer connect to these characters and the problems going on in their lives.
However, at the end, it’s like a switch is flipped and there’s an influx of emotion and feeling coming through these characters. The big turning point is when Kevin Smith, the director, cameos as Silent Bob and tells the eponymous story of how he chased Amy. Smith’s performance was actually one of the best in the film but the big guns come out in the following scene as Holden (Ben Affleck), Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams), and Banky (Jason Lee) have their big conversation.
There’s a lot more I could say about Chasing Amy. The subject matter, while not your typical romantic comedy fare is extremely insightful and one of the strongest parts of the film. Comedy wise it’s not the funniest film I’ve seen recently, there were a handful of scenes where Kevin Smith’s writing shined and really made the movie sing. But again, there’s also that back and forth between good and bad that takes away from the entertainment at times. My last example I’ll cite is when Holden proclaims his love for Alyssa. It’s a deeply powerful and emotional scene but it’s ruined because of some poor acting and an action that seems to completely undermine all of those powerful emotions.
Overall, Chasing Amy is a decent film. I’m definitely intrigued by Kevin Smith’s worked and will definitely be watching some of his other works. If you’re in the mood for a romantic comedy, a Nora Ephron film (like You’ve Got Mail) would be higher on my recommendation list, but Chasing Amy is worth a watch if you want something a little bit different.
RATING: 3 out of 5