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Chasing Amy Movie Review

smith alyssa holden kevin

After the award-winning Clerks and the critically panned Mallrats, writer/director Kevin Smith worked hard on his third film. The result, Chasing Amy, is his best effort to date. It certainly contains a beautifully written, star-making role for Joey Lauren Adams as its central character Alyssa, and two carefully observed male characters (Holden and Banky, played by Ben Affleck and Jason Lee) with more than enough shadings and textures to fill several features. Childhood friends Holden and Banky collaborate on a cult comic. Alyssa arrives on the scene, and Holden falls head over heels in love with her. There are only three problems: first, Alyssa is looking for a best friend, not a lover. Second, watch the movie! Third, watch the movie!! Smith's script is charged with honest intensity, and the performances by Adams, Affleck, and Lee are excellent. In the end credits, Smith apologizes to the critics who hated Mallrats. He won't have to apologize to anyone for Chasing Amy except to those who want to know what will happen to Alyssa, Holden, and Banky after the final reel. We sort of know, anyway, in the same bittersweet way we know about all the different scrawls on all the different candids in long-unopened high school yearbooks.

1997 (R) 105m/C Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee, Dwight Ewell, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith; D: Kevin Smith; W: Kevin Smith; C: David Klein; M: David Pirner. VHS, LV, Closed Caption

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