Sunday, June 22, 2008

Chasing Amy


Chasing Amy; romantic comedy, USA, 1997; D: Kevin Smith, S: Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee, Jason Mewes, Casey Affleck, Dwight Ewell, Guineve Turner, Carmen Llwelyn, Brian O'Halloran, Matt Damon
Holden and his friend Banky know each other since childhood and are authors of the cult comic book "Bluntman and Chronic". At a comic book convention they meet Alyssa who also draws comics, but with romance themes, while Holden falls in love with her. But then he discovers she is a lesbian. Still, the two of them become friends. It all becomes complicated when he admits his love to her in the car. Alyssa angrily exits the car in the rain, but then comes back and still lands in bed with him. Banky hates Alyssa and discovers her secret from high school - she slept with two guys at the same time. Holden argues with her and they split. A year later. Holden doesn't work with Banky anymore and gives his comic "Chasing Amy" to Alyssa before he leaves.

Despite the fact that "Chasing Amy" has a messy structure and often talks about sex, it's hard to find a film released that same year that's more magical, touching and honest about love. But without those deliberate mistakes and unusual directions maybe it wouldn't even be one of the best romantic achievements of the 90s. The final film from Kevin Smith's New Jersey trilogy, "Amy" completely embraces the life of the young generations and talks honestly about their adult lives, living from passionate dialogues that seem as if they come from real persons, which was one of the reasons why it appealed so many viewers who finally got the chance to see adults openly talking about their intimate lives without censorship. But despite the funny gags, some wacky (the comic convention where Hooper X gives the hilarious "Nubian God" speech) some naughty (cake with breasts), this is at it's chore still a poetic story about love overcoming all obstacles. If one needs to point out and recommend two scenes, then it would definitely be the one where after numerous comical events Holden simply turns off his car and seriously, honestly admits his love to Alyssa and after that the one where his friend catches him with her in bed, goes outside and simply observes some Canadian students doing stylistic exercises. There is no boredom here, the morality and "dirty details" are mixed with fairy tale that are compensated by an open ending. A small masterpiece. Joey Lauren Adams is great as Alyssa and was nominated for a Golden Globe as best actress in a musical or comedy.

Grade:++++

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