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"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."
Chasing Amy is a 1997 romantic comedy-drama written and directed by Kevin Smith. It is the third film in the View Askewniverse series. The film focuses on two comic book artists: Holden McNeil (Ben Affleck), a heterosexual male, and Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams), a lesbian-identified woman.
The movie contains frank sexual dialogue, and was originally inspired by a brief scene from an early movie by a friend of Smith's, Guin Turner's Go Fish, wherein one of the lesbian characters imagines her friends passing judgment on her for "selling out" by sleeping with a man. In real life, Kevin Smith was dating Joey Lauren Adams at the time he was writing the script, which was also partly inspired by her.
The film won two awards at the 1998 Independent Spirit Awards (Best Screenplay for Smith and Best Supporting Actor for Jason Lee) and Joey Lauren Adams was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical.
Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum was the Musical Consultant/Producer on this film and wrote music for it.
This movie contains examples of:
- Actor Allusion: In a manner of speaking, the whole plot. The story is inspired by Kevin Smith's relationship with star Joey Lauren Adams, and so in a sense she is "Amy."
- All the Good Men Are Gay: Inverted.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: In-universe example; Hooper insists to Banky that Archie and Jughead are gay lovers, while Banky insists to Hooper that Archie was "all about pussy"
- Angry Black Man: Parodied by Hooper, who pretends to be an Angry Black Man to sell comics but is actually Flamboyant Gay. Also Deconstructed, to some degree. It's definitely hinted that some of the rage he exhibits is real, but cloaked in irony. He also seems to be both angry at how black people are treated and, simultaneously, angry at the way the black community treats gay people. So it's complicated.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Holden's Love Speech in the Rain.
- Followed soon after by Alyssa's monosyllabic reciprocative anguished squeak.
- Armoured Closet Gay Banky is apparently with Hooper in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, though he could also possibly just be bisexual.
- Hooper plays with this as well: He doesn't mind the fact that he's gay, but he doesn't let his consumers know that, especially since a gay black man is "the swishiest gay man there is".
- Bait and Switch Comparison: This infamous exchange:
Banky: Alright, now see this? This is a four-way road, OK? And dead in the center is a crisp, new, hundred dollar bill. Now, at the end of each of these streets are four people, OK? Are you following?
- Berserk Button: "You're a fucking tracer!"
- YOUR MOTHER'S A TRACER!
- Betty and Veronica: Discussed, when two characters try to explain why it happens in Archie Comics. Hooper is convinced it's because Archie is Jughead's lover, and Banky is convinced its because Archie wants to bed both girls at once.
- Big Applesauce
- Brooklyn Rage
- But Not Too Black: Hooper's complaints about Darth Vader being a white man.
- Camp Gay: Hooper X
- Macho Camp: Hooper X's stage persona.
- Captain Ethnic: "My book, 'White Hating Coon', is a positive role model that a young black reader can look up to."
- Chekhov's Gun: Two, but they don't go off until subsequent movies. Jay and Silent Bob's bus tickets to Illinois get them to the midwest in time for the plot of Dogma, and Banky and Holden's comic book (turned movie) becomes the major plot of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
- There's a third one: A blurb in one of the newspapers in the beginning reveals Brodie has quit his job as the host of the Tonight Show and opened up a comic book store, linking this movie to both Mallrats and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
- One of the newspapers also mentioned the character Mooby, whose chain of restaurants is featured prominently in Dogma and Clerks II.
- Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: One reviewer mixed up Jay and Silent Bob, with baffling results.
- Roger Ebert mixed up Banky and Holden.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Twice.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Holden.
- Drop What You Are Doing: Banky drops a bottle of milk when he walks into his and Holden's apartment to find Holden and Alyssa asleep naked on the couch.
- Friendship Moment: Just because a friendship moment is selfless doesn't automatically make it a good idea.
- Funny Background Event: When Alyssa and Holden are playing darts, people behind them can be seen repeatedly entering the opposite gender's bathroom. Though since it is a gay bar (and Holden doesn't know it at the time) this becomes a Meaningful Background Event.
- Ho Yay: Banky and Holden. SO MUCH. It's text, not subtext, that the reason Banky dislikes Alyssa so much is because he's in love with Holden and doesn't realise it.
- Not only that, but Holden points all this stuff out.
- The heroes of another story, Alyssa's ex-boyfriends who nicknamed her "finger cuffs", certainly apply.
- Hooked Up Afterwards: Banky and Hooper in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
- I Am Not Shazam: The female love interest is named Alyssa, not Amy.
- Incompatible Orientation: Subverted. Holden likes Alyssa when he thinks she's a "pure" lesbian or even a relatively chaste bisexual, but when he learns about her past...
- I Should Write a Book About This
- It Meant Something to Me
- Lampshade Hanging: Jay commenting on that Silent Bob thinks that because he doesn't speak often, when he does it is important.
- Let Me Tell You a Story: Silent Bob's title drop speech.
- Malcolm Xerox: Hooper is a subversion.
- My Girl Is a Slut: Subverted, but a heroic attempt.
- My Girl Is Not a Slut: Subverted and discussed at length. It's almost a deconstruction! After all, the guy loses the girl because he can't cope with her past.
- Never Live It Down: In-universe. "Finger cuffs."
- Never Trust a Trailer
- No Bisexuals: Despite Alyssa being a "lesbian" and then turning out to sleep with (and have previously slept with) men, the word bisexual is never mentioned once. Also the Unfortunate Implications of her lesbian friends unrealistically disowning her from the group for sleeping with a guy.
- The One That Got Away: The entire plot and climax of the movie.
- Pronoun Trouble
- Rule 34: Discussed, in regards of Archie Comics.
- Sequential Artist: Holden McNeil and Banky Edwards are writers/artists for Bluntman and Chronic comic, Alyssa Jones is writer/artist for Idiosyncratic Routine, and Hooper X produces the comic White Hatin' Coon.
- Shout-Out: Alyssa and Banky comparing lovemaking scars is nearly identical to the famous scene from Jaws.
- Signature Style: Kevin Smith's writing and directorial style is on display here with all of its usual notes: Snarky banter, limited camera movement, frank discussions of comic book sex, copious Star Wars references, and ice hockey.
- There Is No Try: Silent Bob tries to quote this, but is violently interrupted by Jay.
- Three-Way Sex: A major plot point.
- Title Drop: Silent Bob tells Holden that he is "chasing Amy".
- Unusual Euphemism
- Verbing Nouny
- The View Askewniverse
- Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: Banky realizes before Holden that Alyssa has taken them here. His face is priceless.