Kevin Smith, responsible for
Clerks and Mallrats, is back with the third installment of his "New Jersey Trilogy." After
getting spectacular reviews for Clerks, most critics, including me,
panned the disappointing
Mallrats for being too juvenile and too quick to go for cheap laughs.
Starring: Ben Affleck, Jason Scott Lee,
and Joey Lauren Adams
Smith apparently took the criticism to heart, although most of the problems
associated with Mallrats were brought about due to studio meddling and
nothing more. With Chasing Amy, Smith's writing takes a much more emotional
turn and becomes a lot more focused and funny as a result.
The story deals with two friends, Banky (Jason Scott Lee) and Holden
(Ben Affleck), who produce a comic book called Bluntman and Chronic. When
the two of them meet Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams) at a comic book
convention, Holden becomes enamored with her and, it seems she is equally
fond of him. However, as Alyssa jumps onstage with an old band of hers
for a song for old time's sake, it's revealed that Alyssa is a lesbian.
Still, Holden and Alyssa decide to pursue a friendship. This annoys Banky,
who feels that Holden is wasting his time with a woman who can never be
more than a friend to him. As Alyssa and Holden's relationship starts
to get more serious, Banky finds out some information about Alyssa that
could result in a serious problem between them.
As with Clerks, the dialogue and situations are laced with references
to Generation X staples like Star Wars, Jaws and comic books. Unlike Mallrats,
there is a genuine emotional bond between the characters, in both friendship
and romantic levels. Smith's scripts, especially this time, always sound
as though they're ad-libbed and completely real conversations. He's a
genius at capturing the spontaniety between two characters.
Amy will be compared to Clerks because of the dialogue and it's
a comparison that will reflect the major difference between the two movies.
While Clerks was more or less a straight comedy with inventive and hilarious
dialogue, Chasing Amy is more mature and heart-felt. There could have
been a real temptation to go the cheap laughs route like Mallrats, but,
wisely, it's avoided and the film benefits enormously.
Amy is worth hunting down and seeing.
Smith wrote the script for the Tim Burton version of Superman,
starring Nicholas Cage, which was scheduled for release in 1998. (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)