Tuesday, January 25, 2011


(April 1997, U.S.)

Sometimes it's the simplest of love stories that can capture your attention. The concept of the president of the United States finding a girlfriend in THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT (1995) did just that. The concept of a relationship between a young heterosexual man and a pretty young lesbian seeks to introduce something just a little different in the grand scheme of movie love stories. It does, Kevin Smith style, complete with Jay & Silent Bob (you gotta love those guys!) and some of the funniest dialogue I've ever enjoyed on screen.

I've mentioned before in other posts that it's great dialogue that makes me laugh a lot more than slapstick or idiocy. I'm a sucker for great dialogue, funny or serious! CHASING AMY contains some of the most frank sexual dialogue I've ever heard outside of a porn film, but not to the level of just being mindless or without intent to the story. It's primarily all dialogue that drives the different relationships going on here. Not just the one between straight guy Holden McNeil (played by Ben Affleck) and cute lesbian Alyssa Jones (played by Joey Lauren Adams), but also between Holden and his best friend/roomate/comic book business partner/incredibly threatened-by-Alyssa's-presence Banky Edwards (played hilariously by Jason Lee). Despite Banky's contempt for Alyssa and the wedge she puts in his friendship with Holden, there's an undenyably-hilarious scene where the two of them (Banky and Alyssa) are laughing in hysterics with each other as they play off an homage to the scar-comparing sequence in JAWS (1975). The only difference here is that both of them are comparing scars and injuries they received while eating pussy, of all things. Ah, sometimes sexual frankness is a wonderful thing!

CHASING AMY is perhaps the only film I will ever give an actor like Ben Affleck full credit for. With the exception of his cameo appearance in BOILER ROOM (1999), his role as Holden is the only worthwhile piece of work I've ever seen him do to date. Jason Lee's wisecracking persona is just a pleasure to listen to. He's one of the most un-PC characters you're likely to hear outside of real life radio disc jockey, Howard Stern, but damn it, you laugh when you hear him talk and that's the whole point of any comedy, isn't it? Joey Lauren Adams plays her role well and her voice...well, what shall I compare it to? A sex kitten on helium? Yeah, that's it! Love it or hate it, her voice has the potention to hypnotize the viewer's ears. It does. Director Kevin Smith is, in my opion, a TWO hit wonder. The only other film of his that I love begins with a 'C' also and is coming real soon. Have you guessed it yet?

You know, sometimes I joke around with my wife, saying things like, "I wish I had a hot lesbian friend. That way I could enjoy coming onto another woman and have no chance in hell of cheating on you!". My wife just gives me that look. You know, that "look" that reaffirms what a lunatic husband she has.

Favorite line or dialogue:

Banky Edwards (drawing a picture): "Alright, now see this? This is a four-way road, okay? And dead in the center is a crisp, new, hundred dollar bill. Now, at the end of each of these streets are four people, okay? You following?"
Holden McNeil: "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 (shouting): "Because the other three are figments of your fucking imagination!"

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