At the time this movie was released I was posted to the biggest shit-hole job one could ever hope for at Canberra’s Defence Department. I wrote a chapter about that experience, but prefer not relay it here because I might have to read it again. Outside work hours I ran amok with my civilian friends as we detoxified from the grunge Alternative-Seattle music scene and begrudgingly succumbed to forging meaningful adulthood existences.
I recall Chasing Amy distinctly from this period. It’s a great time-capsule movie because it depicts that whole post Seattle-grunge scene which my friends and I were part of. Romantic-comedy isn’t my preferred genre by any stretch, but Chasing Amy isn’t your typical romantic comedy. Like, what are the chances? That you meet the girl of your dreams, but she is of the other persuasion? A lesbian.
IMDB Storyline: A pair of comic book authors named Holden McNeil and Banky Edwards, who live in New Jersey, have been best friends for 20 years. They spend their time working in their studio, and in the evenings they are going out. But their friendship is about to be disputed for the first time in their life, when a beautiful young lesbian woman named Alyssa Jones enters their life and Holden falls in love with her. Now Holden has to deal with Banky’s jealousy, and with his new girlfriend’s very rich past.
What do you think are the chances a script / plot like Chasing Amy would receive backing in today’s socio-political climate? Zero. Correct. But it’s a really good movie and I’m glad I have it on DVD before it’s deleted from history. On a budget of $250,000, the film grossed a total of $12,021,272 in theatres and received positive reviews from critics. I couldn’t agree more with Roger Ebert’s take on the film “While the surface of his film sparkles with sharp, ironic dialogue, deeper issues are forming, and Chasing Amy develops into a film of touching insights. Most romantic comedies place phony obstacles in the way of true love, but Smith knows that at some level there’s nothing funny about being in love: It’s a dead serious business, in which your entire being is at risk.’
To be honest, I haven’t seen this movie for such a long time because I watched it ad nauseam in my 20’s. I have such fond memories of it and I look forward to dusting it off again to see if it stands up today.
*Kevin Smith wrote the script inspired by his experience with then-girlfriend Joey Lauren Adams, who plays Alyssa.
*When Kevin Smith pitched the idea to Miramax, he also said that he had written the parts with his friends Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, and Joey Lauren Adams in mind. Miramax, however, wanted to cast people who already had celebrity status, such as Jon Stewart, David Schwimmer, and Drew Barrymore (these three were actually suggested). The film’s original budget of $3 million depended on Miramax’s support. Ultimately, Smith suggested that he make the movie with his three original actors on his own, and Miramax could buy it for distribution if they liked it. Miramax owners Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein liked this idea, and gave him $250,000 to make the movie (1/24 of the budget of his previous film, Mallrats (1995)
*According to Kevin Smith in 2006, Jason Mewes was high on cocaine when they filmed his sole scene for the movie.