Running Time: 113 minutes
Starring: Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Ethan Suplee, Dwight Ewell
Directed By: Kevin Smith
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
Two friends relationship is strained after the introduction of a woman into their fold. One of them falls for her but it can never be as she is a lesbian.
There is something so honest and open in Kevin Smith’s directing and writing that you can’t help but like his films. Even when the story is quirky an unconventional you follow along like these characters are your friends. Love is a powerful emotion no matter who you are so when it is not returned things can get ugly. It can get ugly but it also can be funny and that is where we find ourselves with this film. Chasing Amy is the story about Holden McNeil and Banky Edwards. They are friends and collaborators on a comic book called Bluntman and Chronic and things are going well. That is until they meet a girl named Alyssa. Holden falls for this girl but his advances fall short as Alyssa is a lesbian and isn’t attracted to men.
This film is a strange animal. It starts off as a comedy but settles into a pretty serious tale of love and relationships. While there is humor to be had in almost all the situations in this film, the unconventional relationships are what made me like this movie the most. The film starts and we get to see Holden and Banky signing things at a Comicon (convention for people who like comics and other related topics). This scene is hilarious and really establishes the two main characters. Holden is the so called talent as he draws the comic and also the more level headed of the two. Banky is the inker and is more of a hothead who says whatever he is thinking. Of course this makes the two of them a great fit and their dialogue can range anywhere from work to sexual practices. Of course this wouldn’t be a Kevin Smith film without a few Star Wars references and they get right to it in this one. Holden and Banky start a hilarious debate with a presenter about racial stereotypes in the Star Wars movies. Because of such a strong opening the viewer will be hooked and it never really falters as it progresses. The film deftly switches paths from comedy to drama as Alyssa is introduced to the two buddies. The strange friend triangle allows the film to take an almost tragic course as Holden falls for a woman he can never get. It also strains his relationship with Banky and you seem to get wrapped up in fantastic dialogue between the three of them as their lives unravel.
The acting in this film is pretty solid although I will never get used to Ben Affleck with a goatee. Holden McNeil is played by Affleck and besides a few emotional scenes that seem forced he does a great job as the lead. His friend Banky Edwards is played by Jason Lee. While Lee will never be a good actor there is something very likable about him that makes everything seem fine on screen. The last main character is Alyssa played by Joey Lauren Adams. She is also pretty strong for most of the film but loses it in a few of the scenes where there is extended time in between cuts. Her emotional range is lacking sometimes especially when she is yelling or upset. The three of them work very well together though and make up for any deficiencies they may have individually. Jay and Silent Bob played by Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith make a funny and memorable appearance in this. They offer a nice comedic break from the sometimes too intense scenarios. An honorable mention goes to Dwight Ewell playing Hooper X a gay writer posing as a straight man to garner sales. His performance will not go unnoticed in both scope and delivery and he was surprise hit for me.
I think I got into this film as much as I did because it is a theme that probably plays itself out thousands of times a month in this world. That is the dreaded sexual history question and the inevitable fallout because of the results. As the three of them argue and bicker their way to a very believable and nontraditional Hollywood ending I realized that this is just a simple story with awesome dialogue and enough laughs to make it a good time. It delves into real world topics and makes it interesting and that is hard thing to do.
This is Director and writer Kevin Smith’s third full length feature (Clerks, Mallrats) and he continues the trend of positive reviews from me. He is just able to connect with the viewer through everyday topics and wide ranging situations. Having characters that are relatable and funny never hurts either. The film does have some slow parts but they are a means to an end and this film will have wide appeal for people looking for a good solid story.
I give this movie a recommendation especially to people looking for something a little less main stream.
T Factor + If you like Kevin Smith films this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you do not like small budget films this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: Clerks, Mallrats.