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''Chasing Amy'' is a 1997 American
romantic Romantic may refer to: Genres and eras * The Romantic era, an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement of the 18th and 19th centuries ** Romantic music, of that era ** Romantic poetry, of that era ** Romanticism in science, of that er ...
comedy-drama Comedy music, Comedy-drama, or dramedy, is a genre of dramatic works that combines elements of comedy and Drama (film and television), drama. In the United States Example include ''The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd'', which aired from 1987 to ...
film written and directed by
Kevin Smith Kevin Patrick Smith (born August 2, 1970) is an American filmmaker, actor, comedian, comic book writer, author, and podcaster. He came to prominence with the low-budget A low-budget film or low-budget movie is a motion picture shot with litt ...

Kevin Smith
and starring
Ben Affleck Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt (born August 15, 1972) is an American actor, film director, producer, screenwriter, and philanthropist. His accolades The accolade (also known as dubbing or adoubement) ( la, benedictio militis) was the centr ...

Ben Affleck
,
Joey Lauren Adams Joey Lauren Adams (born January 9, 1968) is an American actress and director. Adams appeared in several Kevin Smith View Askewniverse films, including ''Chasing Amy'', for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – M ...
, and
Jason Lee Jason Lee may refer to: Entertainment *Jason Lee (actor) (born 1970), American film and TV actor and former professional skateboarder *Jason Scott Lee (born 1966), Asian American film actor *Jaxon Lee (Jason Christopher Lee, born 1968), American vo ...
. The film is about a male comic artist (Affleck) who falls in love with a
lesbian A lesbian is a homosexual Homosexuality is Romance (love), romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or Human sexual activity, sexual behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality is "an end ...

lesbian
woman (Adams), to the displeasure of his best friend (Lee). It is the third film in Smith's
View Askewniverse The View Askewniverse is a fictional universe A fictional universe, or fictional world, is a self-consistent In classical deductive logic Deductive reasoning, also deductive logic, is the process of reasoning from one or more statements ...
series. The film was originally inspired by a brief scene from an early film by a friend of Smith's. In
Guinevere Turner Guinevere Jane Turner (born May 23, 1968) is an American actress, screenwriter, and film director. She has written such films as ''American Psycho ''American Psycho'' is a novel by Bret Easton Ellis, published in 1991. The story is told in the ...

Guinevere Turner
's ''
Go Fish Go Fish or Fish is a card game usually played by two to five players,
although it can be played wi ...
'', one of the lesbian characters imagines her friends passing judgment on her for "selling out" by sleeping with a man. Smith was dating Adams at the time he was writing the script, which was also partly inspired by her. The film received mostly positive reviews, praising the humor, performances and Kevin Smith's direction. The film won two awards at the 1998
Independent Spirit Awards The Independent Spirit Awards (abbreviated "Spirit Awards" and originally known as the FINDIE or Friends of Independents Awards), founded in 1984, are awards dedicated to independent filmmakers. Winners were typically presented with Poly(methyl ...
(Best Screenplay for Smith and Best Supporting Actor for Lee). Characters from the film would go on to appear in later Askewniverse films ''
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back ''Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back'' is a 2001 American satirical Satire is a genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed ove ...
'' (2001) and ''
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot ''Jay and Silent Bob Reboot'' is a 2019 American buddy comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as p ...
'' (2019), direct spin-offs of ''Chasing Amy'', with Affleck, Lee, Adams and Ewell reprising their roles in cameo appearances; Smith described the characters' roles in ''Jay and Silent Bob Reboot'' as being an "eight-page sequel" to ''Chasing Amy''.


Plot

Comic book artists and lifelong best friends Holden McNeil and Banky Edwards meet fellow comic book artist Alyssa Jones at a
comic book convention A comic book convention or comic con is an event with a primary focus on comic books and comic book culture, in which comic book Fan (person), fans gather to meet creators, experts, and each other. Commonly, comic conventions are multi-day events ...
, where they are promoting their comic '' Bluntman and Chronic''. Immediately attracted to Alyssa, Holden soon learns she is a lesbian. The two begin spending time together, and a deep friendship develops. Holden eventually confesses his love to Alyssa. She is initially angry with him, but that night, they sleep together and begin a romantic relationship. This new development worsens matters between Holden and Banky, as Banky resents Alyssa for coming between him and his best friend. Banky uncovers dirt on Alyssa's past, telling Holden that Alyssa once participated in a
threesome In human sexuality Human sexuality is the way people experience and express themselves sexually. This involves biological Biology is the natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin w ...

threesome
with two men. This upsets Holden, who has believed that he was the only man Alyssa had ever slept with, and he clumsily attempts to make her confess, leading to an argument. She angrily confirms the threesome but refuses to apologize for her past sexual experiences, wanting to continue their relationship. Holden leaves feeling unsure. Later, while Holden has lunch with
Jay and Silent Bob Jay and Silent Bob are fictional characters portrayed by Jason Mewes Jason Edward Mewes (born June 12, 1974) is an American actor, comedian, film producer, and podcast A podcast is an episodic series of spoken word digital audio Digit ...
, Silent Bob reveals that he once had a relationship similar to Holden's. Though he loved his girlfriend Amy, her promiscuity made him end the relationship. Later regretting it, he says he has "spent every day since then chasing Amy, so to speak." Moved by Silent Bob's story, Holden devises a plan to fix both his relationship with Alyssa and his estranged friendship with Banky. He invites them over and tells Alyssa that he would like to get over her past and remain her boyfriend, while telling Banky that he realizes that Banky is gay and in love with Holden, proposing a
threesome In human sexuality Human sexuality is the way people experience and express themselves sexually. This involves biological Biology is the natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin w ...

threesome
. Though initially shocked, Banky agrees to participate, but Alyssa refuses, reasoning that it will not save their relationship, and that the proposal is offensive. Alyssa and Banky both leave. One year later, both Banky and Alyssa are busy promoting their own respective comics at a convention. It is revealed that Holden and Banky dissolved their partnership of ''Bluntman and Chronic'', the rights to which Banky now exclusively owns. Banky smiles sadly at seeing Holden, who silently congratulates him for his own solo comic being successful. Banky gestures over to a booth hosted by Alyssa, encouraging Holden to speak to her. During their brief emotional conversation, Holden gives her a copy of ''Chasing Amy'', his new comic based on their relationship. After Holden leaves, Alyssa's new girlfriend arrives and asks who she was talking to. Smiling and teary-eyed, Alyssa replies, "Oh, just some guy I knew."


Cast


Reception


Box office

On a budget of $250,000, the film grossed a total of $12,021,272 in theaters. ''Chasing Amy'' played at three locations and earned $52,446 upon its opening weekend in the United States. The following week, the film was expanded to a further twenty-two theaters where it grossed $302,406. During the 18–20 April 1997 weekend, ''Chasing Amy'' was screened at a further 494 locations, where it earned $1,642,402 and moved into the Top 10.


Critical reception

''Chasing Amy'' received positive reviews from critics. Review aggregation website
Rotten Tomatoes Rotten Tomatoes is an American review-aggregation website for film and television. The company was launched in August 1998 by three undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley The University of California, Berkeley ...

Rotten Tomatoes
reports an approval rating of 87% based on reviews from 85 critics, with a
rating average A rating is an evaluation or assessment of something, in terms of quality, quantity, or some combination of both. Rating or ratings may also refer to: Business and economics * Credit rating, estimating the credit worthiness of an individual, c ...

rating average
of 7.30/10. According to the site's summary of the critical consensus, “Although ''Chasing Amy''s depiction of queer sexuality is frustratingly clumsy, it handles an array of thorny themes with a mixture of sensitivity, raw honesty, and writer-director Kevin Smith's signature raunchy humor." On
Metacritic Metacritic is a website that aggregates reviews A review aggregator is a system that collects reviews of products and services (such as films, books, video games, software, hardware, and cars). This system stores the reviews and uses them for ...

Metacritic
, the film has a
weighted average The weighted arithmetic mean is similar to an ordinary arithmetic mean (the most common type of average), except that instead of each of the data points contributing equally to the final average, some data points contribute more than others. The ...
score of 71 out of 100 based on 28 reviews. Audiences polled by Cinemascore gave the film a grade of "A–".
Roger Ebert Roger Joseph Ebert (; June 18, 1942 – April 4, 2013) was an American Film criticism, film critic, film historian, journalist, screenwriter, and author. He was a film critic for the ''Chicago Sun-Times'' from 1967 until his death in 2013. In ...

Roger Ebert
of the ''
Chicago Sun-Times The ''Chicago Sun-Times'' is a daily newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of Serial (publishing), serial published, publications that a ...

Chicago Sun-Times
'' gave the film three-and-a-half out of four stars, saying; "While the surface of his film sparkles with sharp, ironic dialogue, deeper issues are forming, and ''Chasing Amy'' develops into a film of touching insights. Most romantic comedies place phony obstacles in the way of true love, but Smith knows that at some level there's nothing funny about being in love: It's a dead serious business, in which your entire being is at risk." Ebert believed the film was an improvement over Smith's previous effort ''
Mallrats ''Mallrats'' is a 1995 American buddy comedy film written and directed by Kevin Smith and starring Jason Lee (actor), Jason Lee, Jeremy London, Shannen Doherty, Claire Forlani, Ben Affleck, Jason Mewes, Joey Lauren Adams, Michael Rooker, and Smi ...
'' and he added that Adams was a discovery. Charles Taylor, writing for ''
Salon Salon may refer to: * Beauty salon A beauty salon or beauty parlor (beauty parlour), or sometimes beauty shop, is an establishment dealing with cosmetic Cosmetic may refer to: *Cosmetics, or make-up, substances to enhance the beauty of the hu ...
'', quipped "''Chasing Amy'' isn't going to single-handedly save romantic comedy, but Smith (''Clerks'') has made the only romantic comedy in quite a while that acknowledges, even celebrates, the fact that love and sex are emotional anarchy." Writing in
Time Out New York ''Time Out'' is a global magazine published by Time Out Group Time Out Group is a global media and entertainment company. Its digital and physical presence comprises websites, mobile editions, magazines, live events and markets. Time Out c ...
, Andrew Johnston observed: "''Chasing Amy,'' Kevin Smith's third feature, does to romantic comedy what Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's ''Spider-Man'' did to superhero comics in the '60s: It makes a tired genre newly relevant by giving its characters motivations and problems that seem real." In the book ''Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire'', Lisa M. Diamond cites the film as a notable example of female sexual fluidity in popular culture, writing that ''Chasing Amy'' "depicts a lesbian becoming involved with a man, contrary to the more widespread depictions of heterosexual women becoming involved in same-sex relationships." The film was criticized by Judith Kegan Gardiner in the book ''Masculinity Studies and Feminist Theory'', describing ''Chasing Amy'' as representative of a "fairly repulsive genre of films" that feature a "heterosexual conversion narrative" that is "set in motion by the desire of a heterosexual person for a seemingly unattainable gay person."


Accolades


Home media

A special edition DVD was released with 1.85:1
anamorphic widescreen Anamorphic widescreen (also called Full height anamorphic or FHA) is a process by which a comparatively wide widescreen Widescreen images are images that are displayed within a set of (relationship of image width to height) used in film, te ...
picture and
Dolby Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (often shortened to Dolby Labs and known simply as Dolby) is an American company specializing in Noise reduction#In audio, audio noise reduction and Audio data compression, audio encoding/compression. Dolby licenses its ...

Dolby
5.1 surround sound. It includes the following bonus features: Audio commentary from cast and crew; Introduction by Smith;
deleted scene A deleted scene is footage that has been removed from the final version of a film or television show. A related term is extended scene, the longer version of a scene that was shortened for the final version of the film. Often, extended scenes are ...
s;
outtake An outtake is a portion of a work (usually a film or music recording A record, recording or records may refer to: An item or collection of data Computing * Record (computer science) In computer science Computer science deals with the ...
s; and a
theatrical trailer A trailer (also known as a preview or coming attraction video) is a commercial advertisement, originally for a feature film that is going to be exhibited in the future at a movie theater/cinema. It is a product of creative and technical work. ...
. Chasing Amy was released on
Blu-Ray The Blu-ray Disc (BD), often known simply as Blu-ray, is a digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing Hardware *Digital electronics Digital electronics is a field of elec ...
on November 17 2011.


Novel

In
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
, the screenplay of ''Chasing Amy'' was adapted into a novel by Kenichi Eguchi and published by Aoyama Publishing. The unique concept of the book is that it is roughly half-novel, half-
manga Manga (Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat ...

manga
, with
Moyoko Anno is a Japanese mangaka, manga artist and fashion writer, with numerous books published in both categories. Her work ''Sugar, Sugar Rune'' won the Kodansha manga award for children in 2005. Anno is married to director Hideaki Anno of ''Neon Genesi ...
providing the art for the comic book pages. In an episode of ''
SModcast ''SModcast'' is a podcast featuring filmmaker Kevin Smith. The show was initially co-hosted with Smith's long-time film producer, producing partner Scott Mosier, although over the years, Mosier's appearances have been sporadic with a series of gu ...
'', Smith revealed that while he was thrilled to have a manga based on his film, he was shocked when he read the novelization, as the characters' sexual histories, which are just mentioned in conversation in the film, are depicted in the novel's manga illustrations as sexually graphic flashbacks. Smith had the original screenplay published along with his "Clerks" script from
Miramax Books Miramax Books was a publishing company started by Bob Weinstein, Bob and Harvey Weinstein of Miramax Films to publish movie tie-ins. Between 2000 and 2005, while Jonathan Burnham was its president and editor-in-chief, the imprint published the memo ...
.


Soundtrack

The film had no
soundtrack album A soundtrack album is any album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), Phonograph record, vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded sound were developed in the early 20th ce ...
released, however, many songs make an appearance in the movie, including a cover of
The Cars The Cars were an American Rock music, rock band formed in Boston in 1976. Emerging from the New wave music, new wave scene in the late 1970s, it consisted of Elliot Easton (lead guitar), Greg Hawkes (Keyboard instrument, keyboards), Ric Ocasek ...
' ' Let's Go' performed by
Ernie Isley Ernest Isley (born March 7, 1952) is an American musician, best known as a member of the musical ensemble A musical ensemble, also known as a music group or musical group, is a group of people who perform instrumental An instrumental i ...
, '
The Impression That I Get "The Impression That I Get" is a song by American ska punk band the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, released as the lead single from their fifth studio album, ''Let's Face It'' (1997), in February 1997. The track reached number one on the US ''Billboard ...
' by
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones The Mighty Mighty Bosstones (informally referred to as The Bosstones) is an American ska punk Ska punk (also spelled ska-punk) is a fusion genre that mixes ska Ska (; ) is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category th ...
,
Run's House ''Run's House'' is an American reality television series that debuted on October 13, 2005. The series chronicles the family life of former Run–D.M.C. rapper and hip-hop music pioneer Joseph Simmons, also known as Rev Run. Its theme song and sh ...
by
Run-DMC Run-DMC (also spelled Run-D.M.C.) was an American hip hop Hip hop or hip-hop is a culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the ...
and other songs by artists such as
Public Enemy "Public enemy" is a Terminology, term which was first widely used in the United States in the 1930s to describe individuals whose activities were seen as criminal and extremely damaging to society, though the phrase had been used for centuries ...
, The Hang Ups,
Gwen Guthrie Gwendolyn "Gwen" Guthrie (July 9, 1950 – February 3, 1999) was an American singer-songwriter and pianist who also sang backing vocals for Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Peter Tosh, and Madonna, among others, and who wrote songs mad ...
and
Liz Phair Elizabeth Clark Phair (born April 17, 1967) is an American singer-songwriter. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Phair was raised primarily in the Chicago area. After graduating from Oberlin College in 1990, she attempted to start a musical career ...

Liz Phair
. There are two songs by the band
Soul Asylum Soul Asylum is an American alternative rock band formed in 1981 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their 1993 hit "Runaway Train (Soul Asylum song), Runaway Train" won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song. The band was originally called Loud Fast Rule ...

Soul Asylum
featured in the film: 'Lucky One' and 'We 3'. The band had previously contributed the song 'Can't Even Tell' to the soundtrack of Smith's 1994 debut film
Clerks A clerk is someone who works in an office. A retail clerk works in a store. Office holder Clerk(s) may also refer to a person who holds an office, most commonly in a local unit of government, or a court. *Clerk (municipal official) *Court clerk * ...
.
Soul Asylum Soul Asylum is an American alternative rock band formed in 1981 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their 1993 hit "Runaway Train (Soul Asylum song), Runaway Train" won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song. The band was originally called Loud Fast Rule ...

Soul Asylum
frontman
Dave Pirner David Anthony Pirner (born April 16, 1964) is an American songwriter, singer, and producer best known as the lead vocalist and frontman The lead vocalist in popular music is typically the member of a group or band whose voice is the most pr ...

Dave Pirner
composed the incidental music for the film, and the film's theme song, 'Tube of Wonderful', which plays over the opening credits. The song makes a re-appearance in Smith's 2001 film
Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back ''Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back'' is a 2001 American satirical Satire is a genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed ove ...
, as well as its 2019 reboot
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot ''Jay and Silent Bob Reboot'' is a 2019 American buddy comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as p ...
, both times introducing the character Holden McNeil. The
music video A music video is a video Video is an electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum ...
for the song "Have You Seen Mary" performed by the band
Sponge Sponges, the members of the phylum Porifera (; meaning 'pore bearer'), are a basal animal clade as a sister of the Diploblasts. They are Multicellular organism, multicellular organisms that have bodies full of pores and channels allowing water ...
features several scenes of the film. In ''Chasing Amy'', the song is played in the scene while Holden and Hooper are at Jack's Music Shoppe.


Cultural references

In a scene originally written for ''
Mallrats ''Mallrats'' is a 1995 American buddy comedy film written and directed by Kevin Smith and starring Jason Lee (actor), Jason Lee, Jeremy London, Shannen Doherty, Claire Forlani, Ben Affleck, Jason Mewes, Joey Lauren Adams, Michael Rooker, and Smi ...
'', several principal characters share memories of sexual escapades gone awry. This scene reveals the character's own emotional "sex scars" and was purposefully created—down to the style of dialogue and set dressing—to mirror a scene from
Steven Spielberg Steven Allan Spielberg (; born December 18, 1946) is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. He began his career in the New Hollywood New Hollywood, sometimes referred to as the American New Wave or the Hollywood Renaissance, r ...

Steven Spielberg
's '' Jaws'' in which Quint and Hooper share the physical scars they've both earned from encounters with sharks. However, in this film it's used with Alyssa and Banky.


References


External links

* * * * * *
''The Hows and Whys of Chasing Amy''
an essay by Kevin Smith at the
Criterion Collection The Criterion Collection, Inc. (or simply Criterion) is an American home-video distribution company that focuses on licensing, restoring and distributing "important classic and contemporary films." Criterion serves film and media scholars, cine ...

DailyScript.com
– The ''Chasing Amy'' screenplay {{Authority control 1997 films 1997 comedy-drama films 1997 LGBT-related films 1997 romantic comedy films 1997 romantic drama films 1990s romantic comedy-drama films 1990s sex comedy films
American films {{CatAutoTOC Cinema of the United States, Films by country Works by American people, * North American films by country ...
American LGBT-related films American romantic comedy-drama films American sex comedy films 1990s English-language films Female bisexuality in film Films about anti-LGBT sentiment Films about comics Films about fictional painters Films directed by Kevin Smith Films produced by Scott Mosier Films set in New Jersey Films shot in New Jersey Films with screenplays by Kevin Smith Homophobia in fiction Lesbian-related films LGBT-related sex comedy films LGBT-related romantic comedy-drama films Male bisexuality in film View Askew Productions films View Askewniverse films