In the sensitive tradition of “Soul Man” (troubled young man C. Thomas Howell learns first hand of the plight of the black man), director/writer Kevin Smith (“Clerks”, “Mallrats”) brings you this story of life, love, and lesbians. I have to admit, I expected either 105 minutes of comic book and penis jokes or an ABC After School Special. It’s neither one, not completely.
Presenting the growing relationship between comic book artists Holden (Ben Affleck) and lesbian Allyssa (Joey Lauren Adams), neither character really feels authentic, and Smith never seems to have the right grasp on all the gay material. He probably needed a much better technical advisor.
Funny thing is, Ben Affleck’s acting is weak and the real chemistry is between the always fun to watch, Jason Lee and Joey Adams. The two compare sexual war wounds in perhaps the film’s best scene and then, they’re enemies? So why didn’t Smith get these two together? And one has to wonder about Smith himself: this is the third film he has made in which the lead character is obsessed with the past sexual relationships of his girlfriend. Hmmmmm…..
Still, it’s a huge leap forward from “Mallrats”. “Chasing Amy” cost as much as the catering budget on that movie and looks superior. Smith’s handling of actors has improved considerably. Now if he would stop looking for some goofy hook to build his movies around.