Chasing Amy

Movie review by
Carly Kocurek, Common Sense Media
Chasing Amy Movie Poster Image
Dated romantic comedy wrong for all kids.
  • R
  • 1997
  • 113 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Characters engage in multiple explicit discussions about sex and sexuality.


Very strong language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The comic book "Bluntman and Chronic" is about two anti-superheroes who use drugs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie deals with sexuality. The primary plotline is a friendship-turned-romance between Holden and Alyssa, who is introduced as a lesbian. There are numerous conversations detailing characters' sexual practices and fantasies. Characters drink, smoke, have sex, use drugs, gay-bash, and get in fights.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBestPicture1996 October 1, 2015

Raunchy dramedy hit home for me

Without giving out my personal info and spoiling the movie simultaneously, "Chasing Amy" was an enormous surprise for me. Kevin Smith said his script... Continue reading
Adult Written bycaffinegirl85 February 13, 2012

nice movie well done!

a real good movie i liked it. uh just not for kids unless 12 amd up then its alright to see. this was a real good movie i actually liked this one better than Ma... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byterminator5002 April 17, 2017
Teen, 13 years old Written byBillb0 August 25, 2016

Kevin Smith at his finest.

Suggested rating: R for Crude sexual content, language, and brief nudity

What's the story?

Holden and his business partner and childhood friend Banky Edwards (Jason Lee) are enjoying the success of their comic Bluntman and Chronic when Holden falls head over heels for fellow comic artist Alyssa. Faced with the information that Alyssa prefers women, Holden remains undeterred, and the pair forms a close friendship that ultimately crosses the line between platonic and romantic.

Is it any good?

CHASING AMY is an age-old story: boy meets girl, boy falls head over heels for girl, boy discovers girl has no interest in him; in this case, the interesting twist is that Alyssa is a lesbian. Although smart for its time, the movie has not aged particularly well, and subsequent films from other directors have dealt more intelligently with the often blurry boundaries of sexual identity. This film deals with adult themes that should definitely be taken into consideration before allowing kids to view it.

Director Kevin Smith's atypical romantic comedy follows the relationship between Holden and Alyssa, while also entertaining an interesting discussion about the ostensibly straight male friendship between Holden and Banky. The movie is part of Smith's series of films focusing on characters living in New Jersey, but is definitely not his sharpest work. The acting is overall fine, but Adams' performance as Alyssa often makes her seem weepy and weak.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about issues of gender and sexuality. The film raises a number of interesting questions about sexual behavior and identity. Does Alyssa's affair with Holden undermine her identity as a lesbian? How does her affair alienate her from her community? Holden's reaction to information about Alyssa's past ultimately destroys their relationship. How might Holden have dealt with his feelings more productively? Is there a double standard about the amount of sexual experience that's acceptable for men and women?

Movie details

  • In theaters: January 23, 1997
  • On DVD or streaming: June 13, 2000
  • Cast: Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, Joey Lauren Adams
  • Director: Kevin Smith
  • Studio: Miramax
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 113 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong graphic sex-related dialogue, language, sexuality and drug content
  • Last updated: September 17, 2020

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