At a time in his career when he was gaining popularity and acclaim for making movies full of “dick and fart jokes”, his words not mine, Kevin Smith made one of the most personal and emotionally deep films of his career. Following the monumental success of the almighty ‘Clerks’, and the underwhelming performance of the superb ‘Mallrats’, Smith went in a different direction with ‘Chasing Amy’. The film follows a period of time in the lives of Holden McNeil and Banky Edwards, Ben Affleck and Jason Lee respectively,  two comic book creators living in New Jersey. Holden meets, and subsequently falls in love with, Alyssa. The only problem is that Alyssa is a lesbian with a bit of an…adventurous sexual history. Needless to say, when Holden finds out it doesnt go too well.

I initially came across this film shortly after I discovered Mr. Smith. I was about 14 and had recently come off the high of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Dogma, and Mallrats. I was expecting an inappropriate laugh fest full of the aforementioned dick and fart jokes. What I got was a socially and morally responsible comedy that had truckloads of heart and sentiment. Obviously, 14 year old me didnt appreciate it very much so I moved on to other things. Fortunately I rediscovered this film some years later.

When I was around 21-22, I had already managed to go through some fairly shitty relationships that ended pretty poorly. I had recenly met someone who renewed my faith in the whole crazy “love” thing. Shortly thereafter, the ugly truth comes out…she has a past. I had a hard time dealing with that and I’m sure I was an ass about it. One fateful day, I bought this film on a whim and sat down to watch it one night after a fairly unpleasant conversation. By the end, I was almost in tears. It made me realize how unfair I was being and how much I was in the wrong, which led to a heartfelt apology. This film gave me a totally different perspective and in a lot of ways helped me to be more socially conscious and much more forgiving and accepting.

The relationship ended and I went on to meet my wife and start a family,  but I never have forgotten the things Chasing Amy helped me to realize.  This is, unfortunately, Smith’s most underrated film and I will never understand why. Yes, it is a comedy that is meant to get a laugh but it is also a beautiful,  heartfelt story of acceptance and forgiveness. If you have never seen this film, it needs to find a spot on top of your “must watch” list. It is more than meets the eye and, in my opinion, began a trend of more sentimental films for Kevin Smith and started the most artistically creative era of his career. Simply put, I love this film and it will always hold special meaning in my heart. Til next time friends…

-Heath

@ShitAboutFuck
@onetripdown
@dhbates87

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