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The Mass Media

What to watch this week: ‘Chasing Amy’ on Netflix

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‘Chasing Amy’ movie

As this school year continues, with morning classes and essays due, it is always nice to unwind and watch films that takes us on a cloud, drifting away from reality. As we explore the world during our college years, films can help us relax and unwind in the comfort of our own homes. 
Chasing Amy, the third film in the magnificent Jay and Silent Bob saga, is a great film to start off the year as it explores virginity, gender roles, relationships and friendships, as well as homosexuality and heterosexuality– all of which college students are so curious about in their transition into adulthood. Further reading into this article may spoil the movie, though prior knowledge of the story can enhance the experience of this film… so, you have been warned.
The 1997 romantic comedy stars the twenty-five-year-old Ben Affleck, opposite his co-star Joey Lauren Adams. The film is rated R for graphic dialogue, language, sexuality, and drug content. Using crude humor and plenty of sarcasm, writer and director Kevin Smith gives new meaning to sex and love.
Prior to his involvement in Good Will Hunting, Ben Affleck gave strong impressions in the film world as a quick-witted, comic book author– very different from his more recent and serious roles. His character, Holden McNeil, falls in love with Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams) which becomes problematic for his friendship with her and his buddy Banky (Jason Lee), because Alyssa is gay. Despite her identity as a lesbian, she returns her feelings for him and starts a new kind of relationship with a complicated past.
Alyssa uses the rationale of why she is a lesbian to explain why she likes Holden which is “to not limit the likelihood of finding that one person who’d complement [her] so completely.” Smith beautifully expresses the motivation for people like Alyssa to be so radical is to simply find love. Amusingly, the common denominator that connects everyone in the story is that they all write comic books, which highlights the fun and childish nature of the characters.
The film possesses the classic ’90s language and imagery that lacks censorship and sensitivity– a characteristic that is demanded in modern movies- so I forewarn students who think sex is a very delicate topic, that this film may be uncomfortable. For example, less than half an hour into the film, Alyssa and Banky share sex stories that have left them with body scars and permanent injuries, while explaining to each other what their personal definition of sex is. A bit uncomfortable to watch, but just as Holden puts it, “it was educational.”
Along with this scene, Alyssa challenges Holden in the ways which people lose their virginity, while they both swing on the swing set. Smith breaks down society’s standards and forces viewers to consider redefining the world of sex. The childish personality of all of the characters emphasizes the naivety in every person who believes themselves to be well-informed and expert in the subject of sex. Holden, who serves as a foil to Alyssa, lets us know that even adults are new to this sex thing. Those who are new to this film will relate to Holden, as they both will explore the unfamiliar world of homosexuality.
Chasing Amy is an astounding film that leaves questions for the viewers about what is and what isn’t. Raw and entertaining, watching this film is the perfect start to understanding this wide world and the complex human beings that inhabits it. Available on Netflix.