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"CHASING AMY"
(1997) (Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Moderate Minor Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None Minor Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Heavy None Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Romantic Comedy: A male comic book writer and his lesbian friend try to have a romantic relationship.
PLOT:
Holden McNeil (BEN AFFLECK) and Banky Edwards (JASON LEE) are lifelong friends and writers/illustrators of the hit comic book, "Bluntman and Chronic" which is based on two acquaintances of theirs, Jay (JASON MEWES) and Silent Bob (KEVIN SMITH). At a comic book convention, Holden and Banky meet Alyssa Jones (JOEY LAUREN ADAMS) and Holden immediately falls in love. At a bar several days later, however, Holden is shocked to learn that Alyssa is a lesbian. She still wants to be friends with him and he gets advice from both Banky and gay, black-rights activist Hooper (DWIGHT EWELL) on whether to pursue a relationship with her. He does, and they eventually get together, but his insecurities about her past as well as the strain it puts on his working relationship with Banky, threaten to undermine their romance.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Younger kids won't, but older teens might, especially if they're familiar with director Kevin Smith's earlier works, "Clerks" and "Mallrats," or want to see an offbeat romantic comedy.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong graphic sex-related dialogue, language, sexuality and drug content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BEN AFFLECK plays a comic book writer whose own insecurities about Alyssa's sexual past bother him enough to endanger their relationship. His solution to their problems -- to have three way sex with Banky -- will be rather unsettling for many parents.
  • JOEY LAUREN ADAMS plays a lesbian with a very sordid sexual past that includes both homo and heterosexual sex, as well as group sex. She is done with all of that now, though, and is looking for a true monogamous relationship.
  • JASON LEE plays Holden's business partner who feels threatened by Alyssa's presence and continually tries to convince or prove to Holden that this woman isn't right for him. Also he often shows his homophobic feelings that we learn are only suppressing his partial homosexual feelings for Holden.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 7.5 out of 10
    This has to be one of just a handful, if not the only, guy falls for lesbian love story. While the subject material and rather graphic sexual discussions will turn off many viewers, this film does offer unique, fresh characters and an interesting and often amusing plot. Adams delivers an exceptional performance that is reminiscent of Renee Zellweger ("Jerry Maguire") and in fact the two look similar enough to be sisters. Although the story includes rather sordid sexual details, it really revolves around finding true love and audiences will definitely root for Holden and Alyssa's relationship to work despite the many obstacles. That fact that you never know whether that will happen makes this film stand out from the standard Hollywood romantic comedy where the ending is never in doubt. Having an uncertain and possibly unhappy ending is always a risky undertaking, but this film is about taking risks. It succeeds on all points and due to that and the above average performances delivered by the excellent cast, we give this film a 7.5 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Most parents will find this film very objectionable and not at all suitable for most children, especially for younger teens and under. This is due to the frank discussions of sex including lesbianism, oral sex, group sex and other such topics. While a few sexual encounters take place off screen, a few are very briefly seen but don't include any nudity. Profanity (often relating to sex) is extreme and includes more than 120 "f" words and many slang terms for sex and both male and female genitalia. Beyond what appears to be the presense of some drugs in one scene and nearly everyone smoking, many of the other categories are rather void of objectionable material, but those two active categories will probably be more than most parents will want their kids exposed to.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A comic book fan says he wishes he was "...getting stoned..." like the characters in the comic book.
  • Holden, Banky, Alyssa, and Hooper drink beer.
  • Hooper drinks wine.
  • People drink in a bar, as do Holden, Banky, Alyssa, and her girlfriend.
  • When Alyssa is asked what she did with her youth she replies, "Stayed out late, smoked pot, and screwed around."
  • Alyssa and her lesbian friends drink wine.
  • Jay offers Holden what appears to be some sort of drugs.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A bloody mannequin is displayed at a comic book convention.
  • A hockey player is punched and blood flies from his mouth.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Banky calls women "chicks," is extremely homophobic, and generally has a bad attitude. He also continually tries to undermine Holden and Alyssa's relationship and calls her "dyke" and "bitch."
  • Holden gets mad at Alyssa for having a heterosexual past while he somehow manages to accept that up until recently she was a lesbian.
  • Jay says, "There's one bitch in the world. One bitch with many faces," referring to women as a group that he doesn't like.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Hooper pulls out a gun while giving a speech after he tires of Holden's questions. He then shoots Holden who doubles over on the floor. After everyone leaves, however, we learn that is was a mutual setup and the gun was only loaded with blanks.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handgun: Pulled out by Hooper during a speech he's giving and then fired at Holden. It turns out, as said above, to be a mutual setup, and the gun is loaded only with blanks.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Pissed," "Taking a piss," "Fart," Shut up," "Bitch" (toward women and other gay men), "Faggot," "Idiot," "Dyke," "Sucks," "Shacking up with," "Screw that," "On the rag," "Slut," "Whore," "Douche bag," "D*ckhead," and "Nigger" (said by a black man).
  • Alyssa gives "the finger" to someone who throws a ball back at her after she accidentally threw it their way.
  • Jay eats sugar in a restaurant like it's going out of style.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • Alyssa sings a song that includes the line "I want to lay with you all through the night..."
  • PROFANITY
  • 121 "f" words (16 used sexually, 4 with the prefix "mother," and other sexual terms: "d*cking" twice and "nail" once), 64 "s" words, 10 slang terms for male genitals (8 "d" words, 1 "p" word, and 1 "c" word), 5 slang terms for female genitals (3 "c" words, 2 "p" words), 3 slang terms for breasts (the "t" word), 13 "ass" words (4 used with "hole"), 3 damns, 2 hells, 2 S.O.B.'s, and 6 uses of "Jesus" and "God," 3 uses of "For Christ's sakes," 2 of "Oh God," and 1 use each of "My God," "Oh my God," "Christ," "Jesus Christ," "God damn," and "Swear to God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Hooper comments that in the comics, Archie and Jughead were lovers. Banky responds that Archie was trying to get Veronica and Betty into a "three way" (sex). Later, it's said that "Archie isn't f*cking Mr. Whetherby."
  • Hooper is gay and Alyssa is a lesbian and she passionately kisses another woman, much to Holden's shock.
  • The guys mention that "...overweight and underweight guys who don't get laid are our market."
  • A man and woman passionately make out on the hood of a car to the point that the man ends up between the women's legs, but no nudity or other sexual movement is seen.
  • Hooper tells Banky that Holden said about him, "He's hung like an infant" (penis size).
  • Alyssa talks about her growing up in the same area as Holden and says, "My best friend f*cked a dead guy in the bathroom," and mentions losing her virginity in a small town.
  • Holden gets after Banky for starring at Alyssa and another woman making out. He replies, "Where are we going to get the chance to see this sh*t without paying for it?"
  • When Alyssa's girlfriend wants her to dance, Alyssa says, "I have to sit here and work up the desire to f*ck you later."
  • Banky asks Alyssa, "How do you f*ck a girl? With strap ons?" He then says "couldn't you just say ‘eat her out'?" She replies, "Can't men f*ck each other?....For you, f*ck is penetrate...you inside some girl, jack hammering away..." "F*cking isn't limited to penetration. It describes any sex. It's not totally about love. I don't love Kim, but I'll f*ck her."
  • The conversation then turns to Banky's reluctance to have oral sex with women. "I lost my tolerance for the bullsh*t that comes with eating girls." Alyssa then wonders if that's because of the "smell," but he replies that he doesn't think he's doing it properly. He then comments that "most women are self-conscious about the smell factor and most of them lay there like a deer in the headlights. When a chick goes down on me, I let her no where to go."
  • Banky and Alyssa then compare notes about having oral sex with women (that include very brief and grainy black and white shots of a few sexual encounters, but no nudity is seen). He mentions a woman bucking when her cat jumped on her and breaking one of his teeth. She mentions falling asleep in another woman's crotch. He mentions for another woman, "I varied my lapping speed...and she's moving around, convulsing, and her legs are wrapped around my head so tight..." She then mentions having oral sex with a woman in a car.
  • Banky asks Alyssa, "Since you like chicks, do you just look at yourself naked in the mirror all the time?"
  • Banky tells Holden, "What any woman really wants is some deep d*cking. That's why I can't buy lesbians. Everyone needs d*ck. I can buy fags, cause they need d*ck."
  • Holden and Alyssa have a discussion about the definition of losing one's virginity. He claims that penile penetration needs to be involved and she disputes that and says there's other penetration (showing with her hands that she has given or received an entire fist into the vagina). They then talk about tongue penetration and he says, "My God, how can a tongue be enough? How big can a tongue get?" She then shows him her long tongue and the discussion ends.
  • Banky has packed some pornographic magazines to take with him on a trip and refers to them as "stroke" books and mentions the different levels and activity in them, but none of their photos are seen.
  • Holden makes a birthday cake for Alyssa that shows the head and chest of a woman, including protruding breasts.
  • It's implied that Holden and Alyssa had sex, and in another scene, they're in bed togther, but no nudity or movement is seen.
  • Banky comments about Catholic (school) girls and says, "It's the uniform that does it for me."
  • Holden asks "Why me? Why now?" about why Alyssa has decided to have a heterosexual relationship. She answers with the "now" in mind and says, "Because you gave me that look, and I got all wet."
  • Alyssa's high school nickname was "finger cuffs." This was referring to "Chinese finger cuffs" where a finger is put into the "cuff" from each end. She got this nickname because years ago while giving oral sex to a boy in high school, she allowed another boy to have sex with her from behind. This story is more graphically told by one of the students, and Alyssa later admits to it, "I blew him while Cody f*cked me." She then admits to Holden that she had sex with an older man in a limo, and allowed another lover to videotape one of their sexual encounters that he then showed to everyone else the next day.
  • Silent Bob tells Holden about leaving his girlfriend, Amy, after she brought someone home to have a menage a trois.
  • Holden tells Banky and Alyssa that they all have to have sex together to alleviate their problems. He says this will help Banky and his unspoken attraction to him, and that it will help him with Alyssa since he'll have had a wild sexual experience like she's had in her past. She turns this down and Banky is relieved although Holden kissed him while explaining his plan.
  • SMOKING
  • Nearly everyone smokes throughout the movie, as do other minor characters and those in the backgrounds of shots.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Lesbianism, homosexuality and all of the other sexual activity discussed in this film.
  • Also, whether one should overlook what someone else has done in the past (ie. In this film, Holden can't accept Alyssa's sexual past).
  • Hooper acts like a radical black activist at the comic book convention. He writes a comic called "White Hatin' Coon" and goes on about how "Star Wars" is a racist film. All of this is an act, however, on his part to sell more issues.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Banky gets into a shoving match with a critic of his artwork at the convention.
  • Hooper pulls out a gun and fires it at Holden who doubles over as if shot. It all turns out, however, to be a mutual setup and the gun was only filled with blanks.
  • Holden accidentally tosses an arcade game ball across the room where it breaks through the glass top of a pinball machine.
  • Holden gets mad at Banky's bad-mouthing Alyssa and, after pushing him against the wall, threatens to knock his teeth down his throat.
  • Holden and Alyssa watch a hockey game where the players get into a fight and throw punches at each other.
  • Alyssa smacks Holden for suggesting that she, he and Banky sleep together to solve their problems.



  • Reviewed April 27, 1997

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