Ben Affleck plays a twentysomething comic book artist whose life is stalling. He’s having a blast, but he’s not quite satisfied with his relationships. You see, he’d like to find true love. And hey, he does! He meets the perfect girl: incredibly cute, really funny, just downright lovable. There’s just one tiny problem: the lady is a lesbian! Where can their relationship go? Our desperate dude seeks help, but it’s no use. Even his best friend and inker Banky (Jason Lee) seems to be profoundly opposed to the whole thing.
As you can see, this is not your usual love story! It could even be absolutely unbelievable, but don’t forget that this is a film from Kevin Smith, who’s truly one of the finest screenwriters of the 90s. He hit it big with “Clerks” in 1994, an awesome comedy with almost no budget but plenty of laughs. “Mallrats” was a bigger (and maybe funnier) flick, but it wasn’t as smart and inventive. With “Chasing Amy”, Smith is back in business with what might be his most achieved film.
The script is intelligent and the characters are believable. For once, they act and talk like in real life. The subject is delicate, but Smith handles it magnificently. But don’t think the film is all serious. It’s packed with hilarious dialogue about everything, but mostly sex. The actors are all real good. Then goatee-wearing Ben Affleck is very good, but Joey Lauren Adams steals the show as the fun loving lesbian. Jason Lee is also real cool as the homophobic (or is that repressed homo?) Banky, as are Jason Mewes and Smith himself, who play Jay and Silent Bob, the unstoppable toking duo.
What really make the film special is that, while still being packed with foul language and pop culture references, this film is the only one in which Smith really seems to care about his characters and their lives. His only problem is that his direction is far from being as efficient as his writing. He barely knows how to hold a camera. His ideas are brilliant and he still gets impressive performances from the cast, but the visual style is just so “I’m independent! I have no money! How could I be ambitious!” That’s no excuse. Just look at “Swingers” or “Reservoir Dogs”: no huge budget there, but the filmmaking sure impresses! Still, even when you consider the direction problems of Smith, his film remains more satisfying than most comedies. Way more.