Chasing Amy (1997)

Directed By – Kevin Smith

Screenplay By – Kevin Smith

Cinematography By – David Klein

Starring Ben Affleck, Jason Lee & Joey Lauren Adams

113 min.

Early Kevin Smith movies are terrifically fun post-modern comedies. Chasing Amy is still this but it adds the strong element of romance to the mix. Ben Affleck has young pre-star charisma and his chemistry with Joey Lauren Adams is undeniable. Chasing Amy isn’t the best romantic comedy ever but it is a fairly good one, with gay jokes abound no less. Also the character of Hooper X is awesome and he yells “Fuck Lando Calrissian,” which is probably the best line of the movie.

Kevin Smith movies aren’t movies unto themselves, as the exist within his world of pre-established characters and locations. It’s thing like having Jay and Silent Bob show up for a quick diner conversation with Affleck that makes Chasing Amy not just a self contained unit, but exist in a world larger than itself. If you had never seen Clerks or Mallrats then Jay and Silent Bob would make no sense to you. Or if you haven’t seen Mallards then jokes about the mall would be lost on you. But these reoccurring characters and references add a complex dynamic to these movies.

It is Smith’s unfaltering determination to make all of these characters exist within his own universe that gives Chasing Amy a unique dynamic that other romantic comedies don’t have. Sure, the premise is cute, “a man falls in love with a lesbian” but that could be any movie with Billy Crystal or Woody Allen.

Much like a comic book universe, Chasing Amy is the story of a select few individuals in a larger imaginary world, and for that reason Kevin Smith’s movies are neither sequels nor individual texts and makes most, if not all, of his movies interesting to watch.

God Bless America

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