Chasing Amy ★★★★

When I first saw Chasing Amy back in the day, I didn't really like it. The thing was I really liked Clerks, Mallrats (yes, even Mallrats!) and Dogma (which I had seen before this) so I was kind of disappointed and a bit thrown by what Kevin Smith was doing here. I liked the Jay and Silent Bob films, and this didn't feel very much like a Jay and Silent Bob film. They don't even show up until the last reel, and even then it's just for one scene.

Now of course, I kind of think that Jay and Silent Bob are a bit of an albatross around Chasing Amy's neck. You don't really need the characters to appear at all, because this has enough about it to stand up by itself. It's a noticeable change of direction for Smith, and a credible one after the studio-friendly, big budget misfire that was Mallrats. Nowadays I'd argue that this is Smith's most mature film, though I imagine the filmmaker himself would defiantly point towards the flop Jersey Girl for that accolade, but he'd be wrong. There's an authenticity and an honesty here in how he depicts friendships, relationships and sexuality (I know that the film comes in for some flak in some quarters because it suggests a homosexual woman can find love in a heterosexual relationship, but it's interesting that when Russell T Davies made Bob and Rose, about a gay man falling in love with a woman, it was warmly received; perhaps the issue here is that Smith is a heterosexual man telling this story?) and I was pleased that the homophobic 'banter' that fills much of the initial stages is subsequently challenged as the story develops. The cast is good and inhabits their roles really well, it makes you wonder why Joey Lauren Adams and Jason Lee didn't become as big as Ben Affleck really.

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