Chasing Amy Review
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When someone mentions director Kevin Smith, what comes to mind? Maybe you think back to the first time you saw Clerks. Or maybe you think about something more recent—like the controversy over the title of Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Whatever the case, you probably think about shockingly outrageous comedy. Jay and Silent Bob. Maybe even hockey, comic books, and Star Wars. But thoughtful, insightful drama? Probably not. Still, that’s exactly what you’ll find in Smith’s third feature, Chasing Amy.

Holden McNeil (Ben Affleck) and Banky Edwards (Jason Lee) are at the top of their game as creators of the Bluntman and Chronic comic book series. Their comics are ridiculously popular, and they’ve even got a cartoon deal in the works.

But everything changes when they meet fellow comic artist Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams). For Holden, it’s love at first sight. He’s convinced that they’re meant to be together—until he discovers that Alyssa’s a lesbian.

Holden and Alyssa become close friends—but the more time they spend together, the more Holden realizes that he’s fallen in love with her. And the harder he falls, the bigger the rift it creates between him and Banky—and the more insecure he feels about himself.

Chasing Amy is a difficult film to describe—because it’s both unmistakably Kevin Smith and surprisingly different. On one hand, it’s totally, outrageously hilarious—usually in a blunt (and sometimes even downright vulgar) kind of way. It still has all of Smith’s trademark crude humor—from the expletive-laced debates about comic books and Darth Vader to the inevitable (albeit brief) appearance of Jay and Silent Bob. And during each long, rapid-fire monologue, you’ll be I-can’t-believe-they-just-said-that stunned, but you’ll also laugh until it hurts.

At the same time, though, Chasing Amy is also unexpectedly thoughtful and honest. Granted, deep inside Smith’s writing—in the midst of those long, chatty monologues—there have always been surprisingly insightful little nuggets. But, this time, the characters are more open—more exposed. They talk about (and fight about) their feelings, their hang-ups, and their insecurities. And, in the process, they tell a complex story about friendship and love—and the things that so often get in the way.

Still, despite its complexities—and despite its demanding script—the relatively unknown cast couldn’t be better. From Affleck in his first big starring role to lovably distinctive heroine Adams, each cast member puts his or her whole heart into delivering Smith’s pitch-perfect lines. And the result is a film that’s both hilarious and heartfelt. It’s exactly what you’d expect from Kevin Smith…and so much more.

Blu-ray Review:
Chasing Amy is one of the three films included in Miramax’s Kevin Smith Collection—along with Smith’s hit debut, Clerks, and 2001’s Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. While the films included may seem completely random and arbitrary, though, it’s a great set—and it’s filled with great features, too.

Extras on the Chasing Amy disc include the standard stuff: the film’s trailer, some entertaining outtakes, a load of deleted scenes, and a commentary with Smith and producer Scott Mosier. There are also three additional features—including Was It Something I Said? in which Smith and star Joey Lauren Adams discuss the movie and the relationship that inspired it. There’s also 10 Years Later, a Q&A session with the cast.

The most interesting extra on the disc, however, is Tracing Amy, a surprisingly long and in-depth making-of feature. And, by “long,” I mean that it would pass as a feature-length documentary. It’s nearly an hour and a half of stories from the cast and crew. This isn’t the same old fluffy, pat-your-cast-mates-on-the-back kind of making-of feature, though. It’s honest and insightful—and it’ll give you a whole new appreciation for the film (and for everyone involved). Despite its length, there’s not a bit of fluff to be found—and if you’ve got an hour and a half to spare, it’s worth every minute.

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