18th Oct2019

The Road to Reboot: ‘Chasing Amy’ Review

by Chris Cummings

With Jay & Silent Bob Reboot set to begin it’s nationwide US roadshow tour this week, we thought we’d go back in time a little and check out the View Askew universe once again and review some of our favourite Kevin Smith films… In this edition Chris reviews Chasing Amy.


Oh, how I love this movie. Kevin Smith’s third feature film is, in my view, his most accomplished. It builds its story so well and its characters, while flawed and often unlikeable in the way they handle their situations, are written perfectly. It’s the most well-rounded of Smith’s films and doesn’t scrape by on dick and fart jokes alone, bringing in some genuinely dramatic performances and relationships between its cast of characters.

The story, if you’re not aware, follows a comic writer named Holden (Ben Affleck) who falls head-over-hells for Alyssa (Joey-Lauren Adams), only to find out she’s gay. We have this relationship unfolding at the side of the relationship between Holden and his pissed-off roommate Banky (Jason Lee). It’s all about love, friendship and growing apart, with a bunch of sex, dick and fart jokes mixed in for good measure. We also see the third film appearance from Jay and Silent Bob. Snoogins.

There’s potential of a dated element going for Chasing Amy, with the way Holden acts like Alyssa can choose her sexuality, his want for her to merely “stop being gay” in order to be with him, yet Alyssa’s literal “fuck you” response saves it, and that plays out for much of the film. I almost walked into this one, after not watching it for a half-decade, expecting things not to feel quite as poignant or relevant as they did, but I think Chasing Amy still has plenty to offer, with the way it tells its story. It’s visually a 90s film, and in tone, and with much of the dialogue, yet there’s a definitive thoughtfulness going on, especially in the way Adams plays Alyssa, with an unapologetic individuality that screams “this is who I am”.

I have been a huge fan of this movie since I first say it in the late 90s. It’s a love story in a completely different way, forcing it’s lead character to look at his own ego in order to accept his place, his friendships and his thoughts on gender, sexuality and relationships. Aside from what the film as to say about relationships and hardships in that realm, it’s pretty pissing funny too. Jason Lee is an antagonistic, angry, jealous asshole who adds a lot of humour to the whole thing, with Affleck playing the sickeningly deluded love-sick puppy-dog character, and Adams playing… well… a human being who wants to delve into a friendship without it becoming more, because… for the love of god, she’d fucking gay.

Comedically stylistic and full of very strong emotional scenes, Chasing Amy remains one of my favourite works of Kevin Smith. It stands tall alongside Clerks, Dogma and Mallrats as his best, and while it may not be as re-watchable as some of his output, it’s damn good. Sure, it’s goofy, and sure… it’s likely not as formidable and enlightening as it thought it was, especially in 2019, but it’s highly entertaining, wonderfully written and acted superbly but its cast. A movie that, in my head, is a classic drama-comedy from the 90s.


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