Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chasing Amy

Year: 1997
Director: Kevin Smith
Writer: Kevin Smith
Genre: Romantic comedy

I feel really strange classifying Chasing Amy as a "romantic comedy". Sure, the plot focuses around romance and has many very funny pieces of dialogue... but does that mean it has to be pushed into the romcom world? In comparison to all the other doofy and vapid romcoms out there I really feel like this takes the lead. Typically I hate this genre but there are times it works well.

Chasing Amy follows a pretty simple, if modern, premise. Guy meets girl, guy falls in love with girl, girl turns out to be lesbian, guy tries to get with her anyway. I've never quite been a fan of movies where full-fledged lesbian characters end up getting with and loving men for any reason. It almost always feels like such a cop out. At the very least, the movie seemed to put in some very useful conversations that addressed my anger. However, the lesbian character still found herself in a heterosexual relationship at a point. I must say though that I was especially interested to see how the film portrayed this realization with her group of lesbian friends. She got ostracized which is how I've seen things handled in the LGBT community from time to time.

I still didn't quite like how much she seemed to love the straight sex. I guess that just makes her a fuller character though since she had a rich sexual background which took on all forms. It may very well be true that for some people they will every once in a while like someone of the opposite or same sex when they usually don't. That may continue on to the sexual realm. Basically, despite taking a path that I usually despise, I can forgive Chasing Amy for doing it.

The film is very smart at its portrayal of characters and situations. Some of it is a bit ham-fisted near the end but mostly it all plays out perfectly. It doesn't get your typical romcom ending either, which is probably my favorite part of the whole experience. For those looking for a smarter romantic comedy this is one to watch.

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