Updated: Sep 17, 2020
CHASING AMY (1997) written & directed by Kevin Smith
You might like this if you like: Kevin Smith (I will watch anything and everything this man makes, he does comedy, drama, horror and is just the sweetest and kindest human being), dramedies (not necessarily a plop down with all yours friends type movie, more romantic, little melancholy). Judd Apatow’s slightly more serious films like “Funny People”, “This Is 40” or of the Apatow crew’s “50/50”, “The Big Sick” or HBO’s “Girls”, or his/Paul Feig’s show “Freaks and Geeks”. I kind of want to stop naming too many things because I really just think everyone should see this movie no matter what. But if you’re feeling a romantic dramedy and can handle a little R-Rated humor this is a beautifully made film and I personally think should’ve swept at the Oscars in 1997 or 98’. My favorite Ben Affleck performance. Joey Lauren Adams should’ve won best actress for every award show that year.
“Chasing Amy” was one the earliest R-Rated films I was allowed to see. I remember my mom wanted to show me and my friend Ruben this film.. I can’t remember exactly why but it certainly felt like a sort of right of passage film through my mom’s eyes. Like, you’re 12 now, I think you’re ready, I think you need to see this.
Now to be fair, being roughly 12 or so, my friend Ruben and I really just connected to the “comic relief” characters of Jay & Silent Bob… like no sh*t right? It seemed like a chick flick to us at the time, and if I could, I would slap my 12 year old self in the face for even thinking that.. And so today, on April 6, 2020, on my late mom’s birthday/day of passing, I happened to put on my “Jay & Silent Bob Reboot” (2019) T-shirt without thinking.. then I looked up to my signed “Chasing Amy” Blu-Ray by Kevin Smith on my bookshelf.. and thought of my mom starting me on this crazy Kevin Smith journey/love. After finally getting to meet Kevin Smith and getting “Chasing Amy” signed it felt like I had come full circle. Now, I wish mom could’ve still been here… I would’ve given it to her this year on her 71st Birthday.. As the biggest thank you for, not just becoming the biggest Kevin Smith fan and getting to meet my hero 15 years later, but for showing me a film that changed the way I thought for the rest of my life.
It might be up in my top 5 films of all time… Now, let me just go back and say the first time I saw this I think I was too young to appreciate the entirety (let alone most) of the film’s themes etc. It was only in my late teens and now recently having shown my fiancé for the first time, I really fell in love and understood what it was trying to say. Maybe even seeing it at such a young age too, I had subconsciously sort of appreciated it and lived by it already, even before watching it again as an adult.
My signed "Chasing Amy" (1997) Blu-Ray by Kevin
This was the first Kevin Smith film I saw. After that I devoured everything he made. After his heart attack, I sorta re-fell in love with this man’s work and lifestyle and started showing my fiancé all his old films. The excitement for a new Jay and Silent Bob movie was on the rise and as a lifelong fan, I cried and cheered in the theater on opening night just like everyone else, one helleva movie night with the true fans. I even have the live audio recording of the audience that night cheering throughout the credits.
Ben Affleck (left), Joey Lauren Adams (middle) & Jason Lee (right) in "Chasing Amy" (1997)
I do think there is a joy in watching Kevin Smith’s movies by way of release as he does do a sort of Marvel-esque universe (The View Askewniverse) with old characters reappearing, self referencing and simply by acknowledging that all his movie characters essentially live in the same movie universe. BUT AGAIN, I say a joy, not necessary as I don’t expect everyone to do that, just a recommendation. I didn’t even get to start with “Clerks” and I’m still one of his biggest fans.
Jason Mewes (left) & Kevin Smith (right) as Jay & Silent Bob in "Chasing Amy" (1997)
Without giving plot away, this movie.. what it did for me.. Changed how I looked at the past, being in the moment and understanding that we’re all trying to figure out who we are.
I have to reference some themes/parts of the movie to say this, just a little heads up incase you care/haven’t seen it yet, but it really changed how I looked at people’s pasts, it changed how I looked at mistakes, that those mistakes are just the stepping stones to where we are now, and getting caught up in the past can only keep us from being in the present… I can barely express with words what this film has done for me in relationships, with friends, family, work and life. Maybe it affected people differently as all art does but it really changed my life for the better. Especially dealing with relationships. Dealing with someone’s past. Being okay with it. Like, that’s not who we are now.
Joey Lauren Adams (left) & Ben Affleck (right) in "Chasing Amy" (1997)
It’s a touching, hilarious, gut-wrenching, uplifting, raunchy yet inspiring. Could be a little heavy for some, it’s definitely Kevin Smith’s drama with a major and comedy as a minor film, which I love but some people may be expecting the “other” Kevin Smith. Or the “Tusk” Kevin Smith which I also love for some sick reason. “Chasing Amy” has such a beautiful message to me, one I don’t see sent in films very often or at least in the way he did it. I can only hope others can find some beauty in it as well.
Written by Sam Gall on 04/06/20
CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0
Trailer for "Chasing Amy" (1997):
Rent for $3.99 or buy for $14.99:
This is a little extra cool Ted Talk with Savannah Rodgers called "The rom-com that saved my life" (aka "Chasing Amy"). Here's the link: