Chasing Amy

Director: Kevin Smith
Screenwriters: Kevin Smith

Institute History

  • 1997 Sundance Film Festival


With his past two feature films, Clerks and Mallrats, filmmaker Kevin Smith has moved from obscurity to the front ranks as a voice and interpreter of a group of people who have been described in thoroughly reductive and often dismissive terms like Generation X. In Chasing Amy, the third part of his self-described “New Jersey Trilogy,” he and his compatriot, producer Scott Mosier, offer a portrait of his generation’s sensibilities and feelings about life, love, art, politics, and much more that provokes, charms, and presents a very personal point of view about coming of age.

The story follows the fortunes of a young man, Michael (Ben Affleck) who, along with his friend Banky (Jason Lee), is gaining a reputation as the creator of a cult-hit comic book, “Bluntman and Chronic.” At a convention, where the two are signing autographs, Michael becomes smitten with a fellow comic book artist, Aylssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams). As he begins to pursue a relationship, he learns of her sexual orientation as a lesbian, but he is undeterred, and rather ignorantly perhaps, he continues to seek more than a friendship. When rather surprisingly out of the blue the relationship is consummated, Michael finds he has much to learn about the object of his desire and indeed about himself.

Astutely conceived and loaded with attitude, style, and a sharp-edged wit, Chasing Amy is a fully fleshed vision of a young man’s maturation. It is also a love story that seeks out truth and questions destiny. Smith has succeeded admirably in adding to our image of his misunderstood generation.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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