Chasing Amy

1997

Chasing Amy

Critics Consensus

Chasing Amy explores gender roles, sexual mores, and the limits of friendship with a mixture of sensitivity, raw honesty, and director/screenwriter Kevin Smith's signature raunchy humor.

87%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 84

83%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 196,983
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Movie Info

After a pair of films about hipster slackers, the work of writer-director Kevin Smith matured and gained critical respect with this low budget, independent comedy-drama about love, sex and the fine line between the two. Ben Affleck stars as Holden McNeil, a New Jersey comic book writer who is roommates with his best friend and professional partner, artist Banky Edwards (Jason Lee). Their hit comic book series, "Bluntman and Chronic," is loosely patterned after a pair of acquaintances, Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (played by Smith), two characters already familiar as supporting players in several Smith films. Into Holden's life comes Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams), a lesbian and fellow comic book creator who quickly becomes a close friend, although Holden is powerfully attracted to her. Eventually, Alyssa realizes that she is attracted to Holden as well and they begin a physical relationship, much to the consternation of Banky, whose ire over losing his best friend to a lesbian seems to border on romantic jealousy. After he learns something about Alyssa's sexual past, however, Holden's immature response to his new knowledge destroys both his romance with Alyssa and his friendship with Banky. Chasing Amy (1997) was the third film in what Smith referred to as his "New Jersey series," films set at least partly in the Garden State and featuring the Jay and Silent Bob characters. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Chasing Amy

All Critics (84) | Top Critics (29)

  • With their matching hipster goatees and deadpan cynicism, Affleck and Lee evince the easy rapport of old buds.

    Feb 7, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • There is a lot of frank conversation about the technical aspects of sex between women, but Holden and Banky are written more like sniggering eighth graders than inquisitive adults.

    Feb 7, 2014 | Full Review…

    Paul Tatara

    CNN.com
    Top Critic
  • As in Smith's debut film, Clerks, there's something about the scruffy Chasing Amy that breaks through the pretenses of more conventional movies.

    Feb 7, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Even when its young, uncertain characters appear to be in danger of talking (and whining) themselves to death, there's something genuine and charmingly naive about their attempts to make sense of their feelings.

    Feb 7, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Chasing Amy is not yet a mature work Smith still needs a style to go with his sensibility but its yearning for maturity is palpable and touching.

    Feb 7, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The performances are universally strong. The goateed Affleck makes for a particularly sympathetic protagonist; he has the looks and confidence of a lady-killer, but nagging befuddlement and vulnerability are rarely far from the surface.

    Feb 7, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Chasing Amy

  • Feb 06, 2013
    Chasing Amy is a brilliant and inspired indie comedy from writer/director Kevin Smith. Looking at issues of love and friendship, the story follows an unlikely romance that is put into jeopardy when past dalliances are brought to light. The cast is led by Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, and Jason Lee, who all give solid performances. Smith's directing is rather restrictive, but his dialog is especially witty and raw. While ostensibly the film's a comedy, it's able to cleverly explore some deep and provocative social issues. With Chasing Amy, Kevin Smith returns to his roots by telling a personal story that has something poignant to say.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 04, 2013
    Chasing Amy is very good comedy film from Kevin Smith and is the third film featuring Jay & Silent Bob. Smith uses all the usual tricks that have made his films unique. The cast here are great, and the plot is funny and quirky and totally original. Kevin Smith's films tend to explore ideas which would normally be passed up by a different director. Each film he has made has been funny and memorable. Chasing Amy is one of three romantic comedies that Smith would direct and he makes his rom coms very differently than the traditional rom coms, which are predictable and full of clichés. The film is funny and the cast have good on-screen chemistry, especially Jason Lee and Ben Affleck. I don't normally enjoy rom coms, but Chasing Amy is quite different. Smith layers the script with his traditional humor, which adds so much to the film. The film has much more drama than Smith's previous works, and it shows his maturity as a filmmaker while retaining the same things that we expect from a Kevin Smith film. The film has just the right amount of seriousness and humor to make this worth seeing and if you love Kevin Smith films, then check this one out. Chasing has its imperfections, but it has heart and is entertaining from start to finish. This is an underrated film and Chasing Amy of one of the best films from Smith and is an overlooked gem in his filmography. The film has a well written script that delivers the laughs and charm. Kevin Smith is a good filmmaker, and he has a knack to create original films that are very different than most comedies. Chasing Amy is a great film, and is a different type of Kevin Smith film.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Jul 13, 2012
    <i>"She was the girl, I know that now. But I pushed her away. So, I've spent every day since then chasing Amy... so to speak."</i> Holden and Banky are comic book artists. Everything's going good for them until they meet Alyssa, also a comic book artist. Holden falls for her, but his hopes are crushed when he finds out she's a lesbian. <center><font size=+2 face="Century Schoolbook"><b><u>REVIEW</u></b></font></center> Writer-director Kevin Smith made a name for himself in the independent film world with his adult (NC-17 level) dialogue-heavy movie "Clerks" in 1994. His follow-up walked within those same general footprints, albeit with more funding, and became the mess that only fans could stomach. His third movie, "Chasing Amy", was a surprisingly mature departure, as he merged the profanity-laced humor of his first two efforts with an unexpected emotional storyline. "Chasing Amy" tells the story of a comic book writer, his best friend (the "tracer"), and the lesbian who threatens to come between them. In a matter of speaking it's a high concept romantic comedy with a lesbian tossed in for good measure. It's a hetero-male fantasy that plays out a scenario of a straight male getting a lesbian to fall for him. The improbability of the situation is broached again and again to comedic and emotional satisfaction. In a way, the film is more about relationships in general and the manners in which those in them try to change or "fix" the other. It's a great film written by an intelligent guy who thankfully doesn't only kow tow to the base needs of his core audience.
    Lorenzo v Super Reviewer
  • Jan 28, 2012
    Chasing Amy delivers brave, genuine, comically-rich and insightful dialogue and a great performance by Joey Lauren Adams. The character she plays is Godly (yes, with a capital G), so acutely aware and unashamed of herself and receptive to life around her. This is Kevin Smith's most mature work that I've seen, maybe out to prove himself to his financial backers early in his career after going relatively bonkers with Mallrats. Whatever the reason, he proved he can deliver smart, intense drama along with the laughs.
    Matthew S Super Reviewer

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