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Chasing Amy

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Kevin Smith
Produced by Scott Mosier
Written by Kevin Smith
Starring Ben Affleck
Joey Lauren Adams
Jason Lee
Dwight Ewell
and Jason Mewes
Music by David Pirner
Cinematography David Klein
Editing by Scott Mosier
Kevin Smith
Studio View Askew Productions
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release date(s) April 4, 1997
Running time 113 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $250,000[1]
Gross revenue $12,021,272[2]
Preceded by Mallrats
Followed by Dogma

Chasing Amy is a 1997 American romantic comedy film written and directed by Kevin Smith. It is the third film in the View Askewniverse series. The film focuses on two comic book artists, heterosexual Holden McNeil (Ben Affleck) and lesbian-identifying Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams).

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.

Contents

Plot

Holden McNeil (Ben Affleck) and Banky Edwards (Jason Lee) are comic book artists and lifelong friends. Everything is going well for them until they meet Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams) at a comic book convention in New York to promote their comic Bluntman and Chronic. Holden is attracted to Alyssa, but soon learns that she is a lesbian. The two begin hanging out, and a deep friendship develops. Banky, however, dislikes Alyssa and is bothered by her and Holden's relationship. Eventually, Holden is no longer able to contain his feelings, and confesses his love to Alyssa. She initially considers his confession unfair and inconsiderate since she is a lesbian, but that night the two begin a romantic relationship.

This new development deepens the tension between Holden and Banky. Banky investigates and uncovers dirt on Alyssa's past, and he reports to Holden that Alyssa participated in a threesome during high school, which gave her the nickname, "Finger Cuffs". Holden is deeply disturbed by this revelation, having believed that Alyssa had never been sexually involved with men. He angrily confronts Alyssa while attending a hockey game. During a tearful argument, she tells Holden about her "many" youthful sexual experimentations. Holden learns that she is not a lesbian in the strictest sense (lesbian-identified bisexual would more accurately describe her sexual orientation). She apologizes for letting him believe that he was the only man she had been with. However, she refuses to apologize for her past, and Holden leaves feeling angry and confused about the situation.

Later, during lunch with Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith), Silent Bob reveals that he was once in a relationship similar to Holden's. Despite the fact that he was in love with his girlfriend Amy, his insecurities about her adventurous sexual past caused him to sabotage the relationship and leave her. Angry at himself for letting her go, he has spent the rest of his life since then "Chasing Amy." Inspired by Silent Bob's story, Holden devises a plan to fix both his relationship with Alyssa and his fractured friendship with Banky. He invites them both over and claims that the three of them must have sex with each other. Though initially appalled, Banky agrees to participate, whereas Alyssa explains to Holden that it will not save their relationship. Before leaving, she states that she loves him, but she will not be his whore. Relieved he will not have to get involved in a three-way, Banky also leaves the apartment, and summarily ends their friendship.

One year later, both Banky and Holden are busy promoting their own respective comics at a convention in New York. It is revealed that Holden has dissolved their partnership over Bluntman and Chronic, leaving the viewer with the assumption that he sold the publishing and creative rights over to Banky (which is corroborated in the beginning of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back). Banky smiles warmly at seeing his old friend, who silently congratulates him over the success of his new comic book. Banky gestures over to a booth hosted by Alyssa, and provides wordless encouragement to Holden to go talk to her. He has a brief conversation with Alyssa, and gives her a copy of Chasing Amy, his new comic based on their failed relationship. After Holden leaves, Alyssa's new girlfriend arrives and asks who that was. Alyssa feigns indifference and replies with, "Oh, just some guy I knew."

Cast

DVD

A special edition DVD was released with 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen picture and Dolby 5.1 surround sound. It includes the following bonus features: Audio commentary from cast and crew; Introduction by Kevin Smith; deleted scenes; outtakes; and a theatrical trailer.

Chasing Amy was originally released as a Criterion Collection Laserdisc. Smith raised eyebrows when he recorded the running commentary for the Laserdisc, as he started it by saying, "This is a laserdisc, and I'd like to take a moment to say fuck DVD." The running commentary was recorded when there was an animosity between Laserdisc and DVD enthusiasts, and Smith was a staunch Laserdisc supporter. When Criterion released the DVD - which re-uses the Laserdisc running commentary - Smith recorded a special introduction in which he apologized for the comment and jokingly attributed it to Jason Mewes.

It was rumored that 2007 would see the release of a Chasing Amy X DVD, in a similar vein as the Clerks X DVD and the Mallrats: 10th Anniversary DVDs. But at Comic-Con 2007, Smith confirmed that a special "supplementary" DVD will be released next year to go along with the Criterion Collection DVD released earlier that will just have more extras on it.[3] Smith later said Criterion rejected the idea of a special edition as being "double dipping," but he is hopeful that new featurettes can be included on a future Blu-ray Disc release of the film.[4]

Smith recently revealed at a Q&A session in Vancouver in early 2009 that he and the film's cast are currently recording new material for an upcoming Criterion Blu-ray Disc release of the film.[5]

Novel

In Japan, the screenplay of Chasing Amy was adapted into a novel by Kenichi Eguchi and published by Aoyama Publishing. The unique concept of the book is that it is roughly half-novel, half-manga, with Moyoco Anno providing the art for the comic book pages.[6]

Cultural references

  • In a scene originally written for Mallrats, several principal characters share memories of sexual escapades gone awry. This scene reveals the character's own emotional "sex scars" and was purposefully created - down to the style of dialogue and set dressing - to mirror a scene from Steven Spielberg's Jaws in which Quint and Hooper share the physical scars they've both earned from encounters with sharks.[7]
  • The British alternative band Howards Alias wrote a song called Chasing Amy and appears as the opening song from the The Answer Is Never album.
  • Singer/songwriter Ryan Coughlin wrote a song called Chasing Amy and appears on his 2009 release: "Make It Count". Coughlin has stated that while he didn't know the movie existed when originally writing the song, his Dad bought him the DVD for Christmas that year and has since become one of his favorite movies. [8]

Reception

The film is usually seen by critics as one of Kevin Smith's best films in his career, earning a 91% from reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes. Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert also gave the film "two thumbs up," and Ebert thought it was a great improvement after seeing Mallrats. The film is also brought up as the film that helped launch the career of a young Ben Affleck, being one of his first star roles. Kevin Smith received an Independent Spirit Award for Best Original Screenplay, while Jason Lee received an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor.

With a budget of $250,000, the film grossed around $12,000,000 in theaters, and is seen as a huge financial success.[1]

See also

References

External links

Preceded by
Mallrats
The View Askewniverse Chronology Succeeded by
Dogma

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Chasing Amy is a 1997 film about a comic-book artist who falls for a fellow comic-book artist, but his hopes are crushed when he discovers she's a lesbian.

Written and directed by Kevin Smith.
It's not who you love. It's how. Taglines

Contents

Banky Edwards

  • This is all going to end badly.
  • All every woman really wants, be it mother, senator, nun, is some serious deep-dickin'.
  • I feel a hate crime coming on.
  • [to Alyssa] Since you like chicks, right, do you just look at yourself naked in the mirror all the time?
  • Archie is not fucking Mr. Weatherbee!
  • [on oral sex] Like CNN and the Weather Channel: constant updates.
  • Now THAT, my friend, is a shared moment.
  • What difference does it make if I refer to her as a dyke? Or if I call the Whalers a bunch of faggots in the comfort of my own office, far from the sensitive ears of the rest of the world?
  • I'm going to prove to you beyond a shadow of a doubt that Archie is all about pussy.
  • Everyone has an agenda. Everyone.
  • I'm telling you that chick is probably a bigger germ farm than that monkey in Outbreak.
  • Bring on the free hooch!
  • [showing one of his porno magazines to a kid at the train station] And then, Black Beauty couldn't take it any more and he finally did some of his own mounting.
  • What's a Nubian?

Holden McNeil

  • It's not who you love, it's how.
  • If this is a crush, I don't think I could take it if the real thing ever happened.
  • Yeah, well I've had my finger up my ass but I wouldn't say I've had anal sex.
  • Look, man, we miss this train, and I am gonna shitcan you and just hire Charles Schulz.

Alyssa Jones

  • I love you, I always will. Know that. But I'm not your fucking whore.
  • [on the phone with Holden after she paged him] One minute and five seconds; you are such my bitch.
  • Are you an authorized dealmaker in this establishment? Do you have the power to negotiate?
  • Since most of these people are cheering for the home team, I'm going to root for the visitors. I'm a big visitors fan. Especially the kind that make coffee in the morning before they leave!

Hooper X

  • [pointing at Holden] See that man over there? He the Devil! Never take your eye off the man.
  • Honey, don't give me that "all for one" shit. I got to deal with being a minority in a minority of a minority, ain't nobody supportin my ass.
  • All the boys need to feel like they're Marco Fucking Polo when it comes to sex.
  • Archie was the bitch and Jughead was the butch. That's why he was always going around wearing that crown-looking hat... he was the king of queen Archie's world.

Jay

  • Jedi bitch.
  • You gotta boil it down to the essentials. It's like Cube says, "Life ain't nothin' but bitches and money."
  • [to Holden] Bitch tasted life, yo, now she's settlin' for your boring, funny-book-makin' ass.
  • Bitch pressin' charges? I get that a lot.

Others

  • Silent Bob: Bitch, what you don't know about me I can just about squeeze in the Grand fucking Canyon. Did you know I always wanted to be a dancer in Vegas? Hunh? [He does a dance move with his hands.] Bet you didn't even know that shit did you?
  • Cashier: You wanna haggle over the price of your French Dip?

Dialogue

Banky: I just have to get something.
[Pulls out a huge stack of porno books]
Holden: Oh my God. Who are you, Larry fucking Flynt? What are you going to do with all of those?
Banky: Read the articles. What do you think I'm going to do with them? They're stroke books, stupid!
Holden: You've got like thirty books there! We're only going to be gone for two days!
Banky: Variety's the spice of life. I like a wide selection. Sometimes I'm in the mood for nasty close-ups, sometimes I like them arty and air-brushed. Sometimes it's a spread brown-eye kind of night, sometimes it's girl-on-girl time. Sometimes a steamy letter will do it, sometimes - not often, but sometimes - I like the idea of a chick with a horse.

Banky: All every woman really wants, be it mother, senator, nun, is some serious deep dickin'.
[Receptionist glares at Banky]
Holden: [to receptionist] Sorry.
Banky: That's why I can't buy lesbians. Everyone needs dick. You see, I can buy fags, a bunch of guys who need dick, just plain need it. Dykes? Bullshit posturing. [sighs] Well, live and let live, I guess.
Holden: I'm sure the gay community appreciates your support.

Hooper: For years in this industry, whenever an African American character, hero or villain, was introduced - usually by white artists and writers - they got slapped with racist names that singled them out as Negroes. Now, my book, "White-Hating Coon," don't have none of that bullshit. The hero's name is Maleekwa, and he's descended from the black tribe that established the first society on the planet, while all you European motherfuckers were hiding out in caves and shit, all terrified of the sun. He's a strong role model that a young black reader can look up to. Cause I'm here to tell you, the chickens is coming home to roost, y'all. The black man's no longer gonna play the minstrel in the realm of comics and sci-fi fantasy. We keepin it real, and we gonna get respect by any means necessary.
Holden: Ah, come on, that's a bunch of horse shit! Lando Calrissian was a black guy. You know, and he got to fly the Millennium Falcon, what's the matter with you?
Hooper: Who said that?
Holden: I did! Lando Calrissian is a strong role-model in the realm of science fiction/fantasy.
Hooper: Fuck Lando Calrissian! Uncle-Tom nigger! Some white boy's already gotta bring up the "Holy Trilogy". But those movies is all about how the white man keeps the brotha man down, even in a galaxy far far away.
Hooper: Check this shit. You got cracker farm boy Luke Skywalker, Nazi poster boy, blond hair, blue eyes. And then you got Darth Vader, the blackest brother in the galaxy, Nubian god!
Banky: What's a "Nubian"?
Hooper: Shut the fuck up!

Hooper: And Jedi's the most insulting installment. Because Vader's beautiful black visage is sullied when he pulls off his mask to reveal a feeble, crusty, old white man! They tryin' to tell us that deep inside we all wants to be white!
Banky: Well, isn't that true?

Holden: How do you manage to get away with this all the time? I mean, shouldn't the cops be busting your head open right about now?
Banky: Wrong coast.

Hooper: I need to sell the image to sell the book. I mean, would the audience still buy the whole black rage angle if they found out the book was written by a... you know...
Banky: Faggot?
Hooper: When you say it, it sounds so sexy. [kisses Banky]

Fan: [about Bluntman and Chronic] I love these guys! You know what? they're like Bill and Ted meet... Cheech and Chong!
Holden: Yeah... I kinda like to think of them as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern meet Vladimir and Estragon.
Fan: Yes! [pause] Who?

Banky: Who should I sign it to?
Little Kid: I don't want you to sign it. I want the guy who draws Bluntman and Chronic to sign it. [snatches the comic away] You're just a tracer.
Collector: Tell him, little shaver.

[Banky is strangling the Collector]
Collector: You're mucking with a G, you fuckin' tracer.
Banky: I'll trace a chalk line around your dead fucking body, you fuck!
Holden: [to Security Guards] Will you get him out of here!
Collector: [as he's being dragged away by Security Guard] Hey wait a second! He jumped me, you fucking tracer!
Banky: YOUR MOTHER'S A TRACER!

Holden: Sorry about him, he's dealing with being an inker.
Alyssa: Oh... you trace.

Holden: [trading stories of growing up in New Jersey] Oh no, here's the big test. The Quick Stop
Alyssa: My best friend fucked a dead guy in the bathroom
Holden: You know that girl?
Alyssa: I did, before she was committed

Holden: [wanting to leave Meow Mix after learning Alyssa is gay] We've got to beat traffic.
Banky: What traffic? It's 1:30 in the morning!
Holden: Yeah, and rush hour starts in six hours. Let's go.

Alyssa: Let me ask you something. Can men fuck each other?
Banky: What, are you asking for my permission?
Alyssa: In your estimation.
Banky: Yeah, sure.
Alyssa: So for you, to fuck means to penetrate. You're used to the more traditional definition. You, inside some girl you duped, jackhammering away, not noticing the bored look in her eyes.
Banky: Hey, I always notice the bored look in their eyes.

Alyssa: [About Banky's argument with his grade school religion teacher] How bad could it have been?
Holden: Put it this way: have you ever heard a nun call an eight year-old boy a fucking cunt rag?

Alyssa: Fuck you.
Banky: Not even if you let me video tape it.

Alyssa: So, you've never been curious about men?
Holden: Curious about men? Well, I always wondered why my father watched Hee Haw.

Holden: So, uh, what do you wanna do tonight?
Banky: I dunno. Get a pizza, watch "Degrassi Jr. High".
Holden: You got a weird thing for Canadian melodrama.
Banky: I got a weird thing for girls who say, "Aboot."

Jay: So why the long face, Horse? Banky on the rag?
Holden: I'm just, ahh... just havin' a little girl trouble.
Jay: Bitch pressin' charges? I get that a lot.

Silent Bob: [to Holden, who has just revealed his trouble with Alyssa] You're Chasing Amy.
Holden: What? What did you say?
Silent Bob: You're Chasing Amy.
Jay: What do you look so shocked for, man, fat bastard does this all the time. He thinks just cause he doesn't say anything, it'll have this huge impact when he does open his fuckin' mouth...
Silent Bob: [to Jay] Jesus Christ, why don't you shut up? You're always yap-yap-yappin' all the time, you're givin' me a fuckin' headache. [to Holden] I went through something like what you're talkin' 'bout, 'couple years ago, this chick named Amy.
Jay: When?
Silent Bob: [annoyed] A couple of years ago?

Silent Bob: [to Holden] So there's me an' Amy, and we're all inseparable, right? Just big time in love. And then about four months down the road, the idiot gear kicks in, and I ask about the ex-boyfriend, which, as we all know, is a really dumb move, but you know how it is - you don't really want to know, but you just have to know, right? Stupid guy bullshit. Anyway she starts telling me all about him - how they fell in love, and how they went out for a couple of years, how they lived together, her mother likes me better, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah - and I'm okay. But then she drops the bomb on me, and the bomb is this: it seems that a couple of times, while they were going out, he'd brought some people to bed with them - ménage a trois, I believe it's called. Now this just blows my mind, right? I mean, I am not used to that sort of thing. I was raised Catholic, for God's sakes.
Jay: Saint Shithead.
[Silent Bob elbows him. Jay raises his fist as if to strike]
Silent Bob: [to Jay] Do something. [to Holden] So I'm totally weirded out by this right? And I just start blasting her - like I don't know how to deal with what I'm feeling, so I figure the best way is by calling her "slut", and tell her she was used - I mean, I'm out for blood. I really want to hurt this girl. And I'm like "What the fuck is your problem?" and she's just all calmly trying to tell me, like, it was that time, it was that place, and she doesn't think she should apologize because she doesn't feel that she's done anything wrong. And I'm like, "Oh, really?" That's when I look her straight in the eye and tell her it's over. I walk.
Jay: Fuckin' A.
Silent Bob: No, idiot. It was a mistake. I wasn't disgusted with her, I was afraid. At that moment, I felt small - like...like I'd lacked experience, like I'd never be on her level, like I'd never be enough for her or something like that, you know what I'm sayin'? But what I did not get - she didn't care. She wasn't looking for that guy anymore. She was...she was looking for me, for - for the Bob. But, uh, by the time I figured this all out, it was too late, you know. She'd moved on, and all I had to show for it was some foolish pride, which then gave way to regret. 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.

Jay: Man, why do you always have to tell that fuckin' gay story?
Silent Bob: Man, shut up.
Jay: You shut up, you fat fuck!

Jay: What's that shit he's got us saying?
Silent Bob: Oh, umm..."Snootchie Bootchies."
Jay: Snootchie Bootchies. Who the fuck talks like that? That is fucking baby talk.

Banky: What the fuck is going on here?
Holden: I'm starting a new page?
[Banky grabs the pen out of Holden's hand and throws it]
Banky: Not with this shit, what the fuck is going on with you and that girl?
Holden: We're just friends!
Banky: She's programming you!
Holden: I beg your pardon? Programming?
Banky: Yeah, and apparently you don't even fucking realize it!

Banky: What is it about this girl man, you know you have no shot at getting her into bed so why do you even bother wasting time with her, because you're Holden fucking McNeil, the most persistent traveler on the road that's not the path of least resistance, everything has to be a fucking challenge for you and this little relationship with that BITCH is a prime example of your fucking condition, Well I don't need a magic 8-ball to look into your future, you want a forecast here, will Holden ever fuck Alyssa? Oh what a shock, NOT FUCKING LIKELY. This relationship is affecting you, our work, and our friendship and the time is going to come when I throw down the gauntlet and say it's me or her. Then what are you going to say?
Holden: I think you should let this one go
Banky: No, what would you say, would you trash 20 years of fucking friendship because you got some idiotic notion that this chick will let you sniff her panties, let alone fuck her?
Holden: Look fucking asshole, I'm telling you let it go, ok!
Banky: What the fuck man, what the fuck makes this bitch all that important?
Holden: Because I'm fucking in love with her man, OK?

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?
Holden: Yeah.
Banky: Good. Over here, we have a male-affectionate, easy to get along with, non-political agenda lesbian. Down here, we have a man-hating, angry as fuck, agenda of rage, bitter dyke. Over here, we got Santa Claus, and up here the Easter Bunny. Which one is going to get to the hundred dollar bill first?
Holden: What is this supposed to prove?
Banky: No, I'm serious. This is a serious exercise. It's like an SAT question. Which one is going to get to the hundred dollar bill first? The male-friendly lesbian, the man-hating dyke, Santa Claus, or the Easter bunny?
Holden: The man-hating dyke.
Banky: Good. Why?
Holden: I don't know.
Banky: Because the other three are figments of your fucking imagination!

Alyssa: Why are we stopping?
Holden: Because I can't take this.
Alyssa: Can't take what?
Holden: I love you.
Alyssa: You love me?
Holden: I love you. And not, not in a friendly way, although I think we're great friends. And not in a misplaced affection, puppy-dog way, although I'm sure that's what you'll call it. I love you. Very, very simple, very truly. You are the epitome of everything I have ever looked for in another human being. And I know that you think of me as just a friend, and crossing that line is the furthest thing from an option you would ever consider. But I had to say it. I just, I can't take this anymore. I can't stand next to you without wanting to hold you. I can't, I can't look into your eyes without feeling that, that longing you only read about in trashy romance novels. I can't talk to you without wanting to express my love for everything you are. And I know this will probably queer our friendship - no pun intended - but I had to say it, because I've never felt this way before, and I don't care. I like who I am because of it. And if bringing this to light means we can't hang out anymore, then that hurts me. But God, I just, I couldn't allow another day to go by without just getting it out there, regardless of the outcome, which by the look on your face is to be the inevitable shoot-down. And, you know, I'll accept that. But I know... I know that some part of you is hesitating for a moment, and if there is a moment of hesitation, then that means you feel something too. All I ask, please, is that you just, you just not dismiss that - and try to dwell in it for just ten seconds. Alyssa, there isn't another soul on this fucking planet who has ever made me half the person I am when I'm with you, and I would risk this friendship for the chance to take it to the next plateau. Because it is there between you and me. You can't deny that. Even if, you know, even if we never talk again after tonight, please know that I'm forever changed because of who you are and what you've meant to me, which - while I do appreciate it - I'd never need a painting of birds bought at a diner to remind me of.
[Alyssa gets out of the car and walks away]
Holden: (sigh) Was it something I said?

Holden: They used you!
Alyssa: No! I used them! You don't think I would've let it happen if I hadn't wanted to? Do you? I was an experimental girl for Christ sake! Maybe you knew from early on your track was from point A to B, but unlike you I was not given a fucking map at birth, so I tried it all! That is until we, you and I, got together and suddenly I was sated!

Alyssa: You know, I didn't just heed what I was taught, men and women should be together, it's the natural way, that kind of thing. I'm not with you because of what family, society, life tried to instill in me from day one. The way the world is, how seldom it is that you meet that one person who just gets you - it's so rare. My parents didn't really have it. There were no examples set for me in the world of male-female relationships. And to cut oneself off from finding that person, to immediately halve your options by eliminating the possibility of finding that one person within your own gender, that just seemed stupid to me. So I didn't. But then you came along. You, the one least likely. I mean, you were a guy.
Holden: Still am.
Alyssa: And while I was falling for you I put a ceiling on that, because you were a guy. Until I remembered why I opened the door to women in the first place: to not limit the likelihood of finding that one person who'd complement me so completely. So here we are. I was thorough when I looked for you. And I feel justified lying in your arms, 'cause I got here on my own terms, and I have no question there was some place I didn't look. And for me that makes all the difference.

Alyssa: [about Holden's new comic, "Chasing Amy"] Looks like a very personal story.
Holden: I finally had something personal to say.

Taglines

  • It's not who you love. It's how.
  • Sex is easy. Love is hard.
  • Finally, a comedy that tells it like it feels.

Cast

External links

Wikipedia
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