Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Chasing Amy |
Actors: Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee, Dwight Ewell, Jason Mewes
Director: Kevin Smith
Writer-director Kevin Smith (Clerks) makes a huge leap in sophistication with this strong story about a comic-book artist (Ben Affleck) who falls in love with a lesbian (Joey Lauren Adams) and actually gets his wish that s... more »
Kevin Smith Turns Romantic Comedies on their ear!
Mark J. Fowler | Okinawa, Japan | 11/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have a "love-hate" relationship with Romantic Comedies. I really enjoy a decent one - and a couple of examples I'd consider "decent" are When Harry Met Sally and While You Were Sleeping. I also recognize that there is probably no other movie genre that is as suitable for "date night": It's where men and women's interests overlap.
Bad Romantic Comedies can be really tedious things, and many of my pet peeves about movies come from this genre. For example, my LEAST favorite romantic comedy cliche is the moment 10 minutes before the end of the movie where our loving couple has THE "big fight" (often over nothing or something completely stupid or forgettable), followed by one of the characters tearing off to the airport just so that the OTHER partner will have the sudden revelation that they've *made a big mistake* and go tearing off for the airport as well - usually arriving only moments late. (With an equally cliche-filled smooching reunion that follows minutes later, before the end credits roll.)
But I digress. NONE of these horrid cliche's fill this movie, which is full of almost believable characters and completely believable heartache.
Kevin Smith has now created a half-dozen films, and while I would classify all of them somewhere between "watchable" and "excellent", "Chasing Amy" remains his masterpiece to date.
Holden (Ben Affleck) and Banky (Jason Lee) are 30ish buds-since-High-School who have grown into the guy fantasy job of writing a hit comic book. They get to alternate working on "Bluntman and Chronic" with making personal appearances at fan conventions where they get paid to sign autographs.
At one of these conventions they hook up with another "graphic novelist", Dwight Ewell's Hooper X - who is constantly educating Holden and Banky about being black and being gay. Ewell steals all of his scenes because Hooper is a perfect mix of bravado and angst which sufficiently masks his inner conflict for being black and gay.
Hooper introduces our heroes to Alyssa Jones, portrayed in a career-making performance by Joey Lauren Adams. Alyssa is cute, funny, talented, witty and Affleck's Holden falls for her in a big way. He interrupts his usual routine with Banky just to meet up with Alyssa before finding out at the end of the first act that Alyssa is a lesbian.
A moment to discuss the language, themes and realism of the movie. Like the Kevin Smith films that preceded it, Chasing Amy uses language that is frank and honest and uses raw street vernacular to describe many things, in particular sex. I have heard many criticisms about the story contained in Chasing Amy. Joey Lauren Adams doesn't fit lesbian stereotypes, and among those who seem to know, it is ridiculous to consider that a lesbian might be interested in a man - even if (perhaps especially if) the man is Ben Affleck. These things must be accepted to follow the movie. Smith makes it easy. In truth, the language and the issue of homosexuality are side issues in what is essentially a truly unique Romantic Comedy.
Like Smith's first feature Clerks (Collector's Series) the central conflict in "Amy" concerns one character's difficulties accepting the "history" of the other romantic interest. To say more would spoil the pleasure you would derive from enjoying the flick yourself, but it has to be stated that Smith's resolution involves heartbreak, plenty of humor, no cliches and no airports.
If you think you might enjoy an honest romantic comedy that includes street language, frank discussions about sex and gay characters, "Chasing Amy" fills the bill exactly."
Something more personal
Booty Brown | Humdrum, Ca | 07/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The story of this film is a personal one for writer-director Kevin Smith and it's no wonder that it's his best effort to date--a great, warm film about relationships & more obscurely, a reflection on his movie career. A comic book artist named Holden McNeil (Ben Affleck) falls for a Lesbian from his hometown in New Jersey. He's old school in his ways of love & life and happens to mix it up with the more interesting crowd. At the beginning of the picture--a scene that was finally cut--Holden and Banky (Jason Lee), his best friend/roommate, receive a verbal bashing from two comic book store owners who despise their work. Kevin admitted lifting much of that dialogue from a negative review of "Mallrats" (which had studio exec hands all over it and failed I think because it tried to be a comic-book action movie.) "Clerks" (his first movie), "Chasing Amy," & his latest "Dogma" are all down-to-earth, personal movies that are funny, filled with wonderful, inspired dialogue, and unfold more like stage plays than celluloid --he decides on a location to put his characters in and has them talk; it doesn't much matter if they're in a kitchen or at a hockey rink.There's a scene in "Chasing Amy" when Holden is telling Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams) he'd "like to get back to doing something more personal like [his] first book." This could just as easily be: "I'd like to get back to doing something more personal like our first movie.""When are you going to do that?" Asks Alyssa."When I have something personal to say.""Chasing Amy" is that movie. Indeed, Kevin Smith put much of himself into this picture and the result is his funniest, smartest, and most dramatic work. As Holden becomes close friends with Alyssa, Banky feels rejected. He wants him to stop fooling around with Alyssa and "sign off on the whole cartoon thing," but mainly he doesn't want to lose Holden. It's also interesting to note that "Clerks" became an animated series for a short time and it's possible much of the subplot came from Smith's own feelings about selling-out his art for the big bucks (which also can be construed as his decision to make "Mallrats" the way he did). I like the subtle gestures between Banky & Holden and admire their friendship. This is Ben Affleck's best role. He doesn't seem as confident & charming in it as he does in some of his more recent roles. He's goateed and appears to be a little more bulky and chubby in the face--even his voice and his manner of speaking make him seem older. His character is average yet poetic, he makes you believe the conclusions that he comes to, as absurd as they may seem to others. They're are quiet, touching moments between characters with & without words. In a scene that'll never see the light of day, Banky holds Holden in his arms after he comes to a crossroads with Alyssa. I would've like to have seen it. It's just as much a movie about male affection (not necessarily gay either) as it is about being completely in love with a person.Jason Lee shines--he has a natural gift for comedic timing. In a typical romantic comedy, he'd by the poor schmuck sidekick who gets shunned, but his character is just as crucial to Holden's life as the woman he loves. And as Alyssa, Joey Lauren Adams is full of emotion, spontaneity, and charm.Smith's camera doesn't move often & the critics tend to knock him for it--who cares? He makes his movies fine and I've always said he's a good voice for the subculture of Generation X intellectual slacker-types. Mainly "Chasing Amy" consists of a series of wonderful moments focusing on the growing relationship between Alyssa and Holden & the deteriorating relationship of Banky and Holden. Then several key scenes of emotional fury that are so well written and acted and reveal so much that it elevates beyond a straight comedy and it becomes entirely Kevin Smith's movie--a perfect expression of being crazy & completely wrecked in love, which Holden undoubtedly is.Hooper is the voice of reason & wisdom--the gay black man, who, to sell his comic book, "White Hating Coon," pretends to be a militant Black Panther-esque speaker when he's anything but. He seems to understand the three-way situation plainly, but he's also on the outside looking in and when you're in love your mind is a complicated mess.Wanted or not, Holden also gets "advice from the `hood" when Jay & Silent Bob meet him at a local diner (they're the inspiration for his and Banky's popular comic book, "Bluntman & Chronic"). He gives him guidance in the best way a person can--he tells him a story that echoes his own and hopes he catches a clue--He doesn't. And after a serious examination of his individual relationships with Banky & Alyssa, he suggests something both funny, unexpected and sincere.I always get the impression that when a director tries to make an enjoyable movie that will be well-received, it usually isn't. It's when they put it all on the line and make a picture altogether theirs that people respond to it. I've seen "Chasing Amy" God-knows-how-many-times now & still every time I sit down to watch it I'm touched, I still smile at some point in nearly every scene, I still get weepy-eyed. I wish every time that I could crawl up on that red coach, go to sleep, and wake up in this world. With "Chasing Amy," Silent Bob becomes less of a comic book super-hero, and more like I'd imagine Kevin Smith to be in real life, and when the big guy finally opens up, he says what he wants to say perfectly."
Mark J. Fowler | 08/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think Kevin Smith has done some great work here. I enjoy pretty much anything he does, but I was especially impressed with this film. In my opinion, what makes "Chasing Amy" so appealing is the way the characters view relationships (friends & lovers). It's not the ...and they lived happily ever after... man/woman easy answer thing, beer and poker on a Saturday night with the guys. This story is as real as life and quite compelling in its honesty. I could understand Alyssa's struggle to come to terms with this twist in her sexuality, Banky's desire to wedge Holden and Alyssa apart, and as much as I wanted to deck Holden when he couldn't get over the 2 guys thing (you'll have to see the movie to understand that) I could understand his motivations, too. You don't walk away from this thinking, " was a total jerk!", you walk away thinking, " acted like a jerk, but that could easily have been me in the same situation". Don't let this review fool you, though. This movie has some great comedic moments as well, and of course, Jay and Silent Bob put in an appearance. I think Jason Lee really shines in this picture, though it's hard to see that given all the outstanding performances. Definitely worth seeing."
Simply put: great!
Mark J. Fowler | 02/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a truly excellent movie. It is the best View Askew production yet. It has a touching story,lots of hillarious jokes, and one of the best endings ever. This movie shows Kevin Smith can take it to the next level. He gives a realistic look at relationships in the 90's yet still displays the adolescent humour that made his two previous films so enjoyable. There are great performances by all the main characters. Joey Lauren Adams earned a well deserved Golden Globe nomination for her work. Jason Lee won an Independent Spirit award for his role as the overprotective buddy of Ben Affleck. Ben Affleck gives his best performance so far as Holden, the man questing after Alyssa(Adams). The film also features a great soundtrack. Although none of the songs were written for the movie, each one fits the mood of the scene as if it were tailored just for that scene."