Sunday, August 17, 2014

Movie Re-Review: Chasing Amy

Last night, which browsing Netflix with Laura, I settled on Chasing Amy. I hadn't seen it in a while, and Laura had never seen it at all, so it seemed like a good choice. I remember liking the movie quite a bit when I saw it the first time, and I've long considered it my favorite Kevin Smith film. Watching it now, years afterward, I've got a new perspective on the movie.

Of course, this movie doesn't count toward my 52 new movies for the year since I'd seen it before.


A comic book artist named Holden meets a new girl he's really attracted to, but there are a few obstacles in the way. She's a lesbian, first of all. Also, his best friend is becoming jealous. However, the biggest obstacle between them may be Holden himself.


Chasing Amy is a movie about accepting people for who they are, especially accepting yourself for who you are.

In the end, Holden's biggest problem is that he feels inadequate. Alyssa has a storied past, and Holden feels as though he is a boring person by comparison.

In fact, though, Holden's just kind of a jerk. He's moody, manipulative, and judgmental. Looking back, I actually don't know what Alyssa sees in him. She says that he's, "the first man she's ever met who didn't immediately fall into a stereotype," but from the very beginning he's just trying to get into her pants. Even later, when he learns that she's not into guys and just wants to be friends,it doesn't take long for his true motives to come out.

I'm not really sure what Alyssa sees in him that would make her want to completely change her lifestyle. She even points it out to him that, if she were to be with him, she'd be giving up everything and he'd be giving up nothing.

In any case, Holden is not rewarded for his flaws. Alyssa leaves, and his partnership with his best friend falls apart soon after as well. It would seem that he's learned his lesson in the end, but his fate is left hanging. Kind of. I think he was still a bachelor as of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, so I'm guessing his hail Mary delivery of an apology comic didn't exactly win Alyssa back.

Regardless, I think Chasing Amy is still Kevin Smith's most successful foray into drama.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I kind of feel the same way about this movie as I do about Dogma. When I was younger, parts of it seemed so profound, If you've never done much reflection on religion at all, Dogma can seem that way. Similarly, if you've never done much thinking about relationships, Chasing Amy seems deep. But neither of them have aged particularly well.

    If it has a message, it's that our relationships are always at the mercy of our flaws and insecurities of the moments. Holden making that comic about her shows that he's been able to grow and put his feelings into context...but there's no going back to the way things were.

    Also, the film addresses sexuality, but seems to forget that bisexuality is a thing. Alyssa is either a lesbian or not a lesbian depending on whether she is currently in a relationship with a man. This is a common theme in mainstream depictions of queer people, and possibly reflects the belief shared by both heterosexuals and homosexuals that bisexuality isn't a real thing. It's unclear if the film has that level awareness of things like, say, the Kinsey scale, though.