Monday, October 24, 2016

Chasing Amy (1997)

To many, liking the work of Kevin Smith is grounds for having your cinephile card revoked. Even I will concede that his most recent work (Tusk, Yoga Hosers, etc.) is near impossible to defend. But doesn't anyone remember those early years? Lately, I've been thinking a lot about Chasing Amy. Smith's tale of a hetero man who is unable to accept his girlfriend's fluid sexuality was more than a decade ahead of it's time. Long before terms like "pansexuality" were able to enter the broader pop cultural lexicon via celebrities like Miley Cyrus or shows like Broad City, there was Joey Lauren Adams as Alyssa Jones delivering impassioned monologues about refusing to conform to what heteronormative society thinks is proper and insisting on loving whomever the hell she wants to love. Sure this message would have been more authentic and nuanced coming from a Queer filmmaker rather than from Smith, but because it came from him, it was able to reach a whole lot of immature boys who just wanted to hear dick and fart jokes. I know this because that's how I found my way to this film. I like to think that in some small way, Chasing Amy helped to move me towards becoming the ally that I try to be. And that's why I paid money to see Cop Out in a theater.

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