Chasing Amy



Dated romantic comedy wrong for all kids.
  • Review Date: November 10, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1997
  • Running Time: 113 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Not applicable

Characters engage in multiple explicit discussions about sex and sexuality.


Very strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

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

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.

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 twist is that Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams) 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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:January 23, 1997
DVD release date:June 13, 2000
Cast:Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, Joey Lauren Adams
Director:Kevin Smith
Run time:113 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong graphic sex-related dialogue, language, sexuality and drug content

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byDon'ttrytalkingtome July 8, 2011

If your Kids are watching this movie, they are plenty old enough to not have a lecture about it afterwards.

Don't try to pluck messages and morals out of movies, which aren't really there. Movies are a form of creative entertainment, if you talk to your kids about every single inappropriate detail they will not be able to grow up and mature properly, though I do belive there should be some limits, awkward conversations aren't going to teach your children anything.
Educator 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 Mallrats although Mallrats was a real good movie. but so was this one real good and it has Ben Afflack which makes it a real good movie!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
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 almost garnered an Oscar nod, and I can see why! Though yes, some characters are just caricatures (take Jay and Silent Bob, the latter's speech is actually quite touching), and some are caricatures with a lot to say (Hooper X, who, with a name like that, you have to start being suspicious). But between Holden, Banky and Alyssa, the titular "Amy," there are just fireworks. 90's Affleck is so darn compulsively watchable, there's mega-star fame status written all over the potential of this kid, and his speeches wrench your heart. All I'll say is Alyssa reminds me so much of the person I'm dating, so I enjoyed her flirtatious mannerisms, even though her voice does begin to weigh on you a bit. You just genuinely get attached to these characters and the more often than not very funny observations they have to say, and even though the ending is a bit of a surprise, it fits in with the mood of the film. "Cop Out" is directed by Kevin Smith, but it's NOT a Kevin Smith movie. Critics say the original "Clerks" was Smith at his zenith, but I'd argue "Amy" has much more to say, and deserves to be seen though it's flown under the radar recently. Absolutely not for kids.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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