My List: Chasing Amy (1997)

Rating: 9/10

A 90s romantic-comedy that shows love through the eyes of an actual 90s romance. There’s as many laughs as there are real dramatic moments that shows the real tragedy and turmoil to it takes to be in love. The story follows Holden (Ben Affleck) as he falls in love with Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams), a known lesbian at the time, as they’re relationship grows through thick and thin.

This is a bit of an oddity in both the romantic-comedy genre and the View Askew films as it has a much more serious tone than both might have in a normal outing. It’s a lot more personal and realistic than Kevin Smith’s other films, even the usually cartoony Jay and Silent Bob are in a lone, mostly serious scene where usually Silent Bob gives a very personal speech on his one lost love and how he’s been “chasing Amy” ever since. It’s also the best scene in the movie and one of it’s most emotionally powerful. Though if you’re saving Jay and Silent Bob for just one scene it might as well be the greatest one, I suppose.

My one complaint is a modern day one and that’s the outdated conversations about sex they have earlier in the film. One stands out led by Jason Lee about how you need a penis in order to have sex, and if it had been left to just one conversation I feel this might have been fine and I would have considered a joke in poor taste because it was the 90s and we didn’t know any better. But it continues as a consistent theme of “there’s no such thing as a true lesbian” which doesn’t help that it’s about a man getting romantically involved with one. And about that latter point, Alyssa didn’t have to be a lesbian in order for this tale of real love to be told. If she was just a straight woman with some stuff she was ashamed of in her past it would have been basically the same and yet slightly more believable, actually.

SCORING:

+10: Realistic romances are a lot more common today, just take Marriage Story (2019) as an example, but this was very new for it’s time and stands out as something unique and meaningful while also having the low-brow humor of Kevin Smith throughout

-1: Too many conversation about lesbians from a man’s perspective. It’s kind of lecturing and strange for this kind of film and doesn’t add anything to the story

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