“Chasing Amy” – So why is her name Alyssa?

"It's not about who you love, but how"? Really? I think male or female might matter to some people. Just saying.

“Chasing Amy” 8/10

My Kevin Smith glacial marathon continues with the sexually charged “Chasing Amy” and I actually really liked it. Here Smith finally learns how to mix direction and a budget with his pop referential, super smart writing. It’s what I’ve been waiting for him to do and he figures it out movie #3. Not too shabby.

If you didn’t know, his hipster named Holden and Banky are two comic book writers or inkers or whatever. A bearded Ben Affleck is Holden, the relatable one, and Jason Lee plays Banky the Kevin Smith stand in of the movie (i.e. the bag of dick). Holden falls in love with local lesbian Alyssa, played by the girl with the most annoying voice ever, Joey Lauren Adams. Things actually turn into a bit of a sex comedy while having a great running commentary on sexuality and what sex means to different people without being preachy and awful. Alyssa is one of the least hate-able lesbian feminists out there for which there should be actual awards given out.

Holden and Alyssa ride a series of emotional ups and downs, as happens in any rom-com. It’s Banky that saves this from your generic “lesbian dates a straight guy” (whaaaaat?) movie. In the best friend role, he gets some serious comic mileage. There’s also a gay black guy who moonlights as a black power comic book writer played expertly by the clearly forgotten Dwight Ewell. It’s this colorful cast of characters, and the omni-present Jay and Silent Bob, that remind you you’re watching a Kevin Smith movie. That and the incredible dialogue. It’s like if Aaron Sorkin smoked a lot of weed and bought a heart at Target for a buck 95. Things get emotional, but not too bad.

The worst part? No tits. And there should be considering it’s a sex comedy with lesbians. But the best part is easily Holden’s solution at the end of the movie. It’s so ridiculous that it can’t possibly work. Can it? I couldn’t possibly spoil something so weird and bizarre and clearly in character, but it’s awesome.

It’s super weird seeing Ben Affleck before he was really Ben Affleck. Jason Lee is starting to look a  little more like Jason Lee. And Casey Affleck and Matt Damon both get the world’s smallest cameos as if they’re not going to be mega famous – Smith should’ve known. Joey Lauren Adams easily steals the show, with a firms grasp on this chick we all know, but really haven’t seen on screen before or since. She cries so well, she breaks down like every girlfriend I’ve never had, and she gets it. More than any other lesbian straight chick, she gets it.

Kevin Smith is the big winner here. He actually produces something coherent, narrative, and meaningful, while still staying in his silly universe. Here’s hoping Smith’s next few movies are just as enjoyable.

One Comment to ““Chasing Amy” – So why is her name Alyssa?”

  1. Dwight Ewell indeed. What the hell happened to that guy?

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