One of the best of 1997.Holden and Banky are best friends. Have been for years. They write a comic book called Bluntman & Chronic. They're young. They're successful. And their partnership - their friendship - may very well fall apart because Holden is in love with Alyssa. Alyssa's not just any girl.
Alyssa's a lesbian.
Chasing Amy deals with relationships in a very real, very adult way, with very strong dialogue and frank talk about sex. It's not for the young. But Chasing Amy delivers in so many ways.
Ben Affleck gives a great performance, months before we'd see him as Chuckie in Good Will Hunting. As Holden, he's torn between his love for the girl (and ultimately feels betrayed by her past) and his friendship with Banky. It's a bizarre love triangle, indeed. Holden's sophisticated (describing his comic characters as "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern meets Vladimir and Estragon," to one bewildered fanboy), but not so sophisticated that he doesn't fly off the handle when he finds out about Alyssa's past sexual experiences. Flaq runs the gamut of emotions.
Jason Lee is Banky, showing more range and depth than he did in Mallrats, his first work with director Kevin Smith. He won the Best Supporting Actor Independant Spirit Award (the indie equivalent to an Oscar) for the role. Banky's got a real problem with Alyssa swiping his best friend, and he's doing everything he can to keep his partnership with Holden alive. Lee is boisterous and funny, but at the same time touching when he's on the brink of losing his best friend.
And Joey Lauren Adams is Alyssa, the would-be Yoko. She's a lesbian who falls for a guy, creating all manner of havok with her personal life (ostracized by her lesbian friends) but falling helplessly in love. She has no idea that her past will come back to haunt her and those around her. It was a groundbreaking performance for Adams, a role that will be difficult to top.
This is, without a doubt, writer/director Kevin Smith's most mature work. Alternately comic, touching, vulgar and heartbreaking (and sometimes all of them combined), it's a better film than Mallrats (in terms of plot) and more polished film than Clerks (in terms of look and feel).
Solid performances, excellent dialogue, an intriguing (non)soundtrack. This is a great movie, pure and simple.See it, you stupid bastard.