YMMV / Chasing Amy

  • Accidental Aesop: Just because you're a nice guy doesn't mean you deserve a girlfriend.
  • Anvilicious: A fight breaking out in a hockey game at the exact second Alyssa confirms that she's had a very promiscuous straight past. This is why Kevin Smith says he's best with dialogue.
  • Award Snub: The film was apparently a nose away from an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
  • Broken Base: Considered to be Kevin Smith's best film by some of his fans, but considered a disappointment by those who were expecting a more straight-up comedy like Clerks and Mallrats.
  • Clueless Aesop: "It's useless to try to change someone; orientation is fixed and can't be altered to suit your convenience." Wait, no, turns out she's bisexual after all. How about, "true love knows no barriers?" Wait, no, that's not it, because of course some people really are 100% gay. "Don't get all worked up because your girlfriend has an adventurous sexual past?" Well, no, that doesn't work, because she also lied about it every step of the way and then got indignant and DARVO about it and pretended her past had been an open book that he'd just never bothered to read. You know what, let's just give Silent Bob an awkward, tangentially-related monologue and call it a day.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Hooper's deconstruction of the Star Wars saga as being covertly racist, countered by Banky, culminates with:
    Hooper: And Jediís the most insulting installment. Because Vader's beautiful black visage is sullied when he pulls off his mask to reveal a feeble, crusty, old white man! They tryin' to tell us that deep inside we all wants to be white!
    Banky: Well, isn't that true?
    [an enraged Hooper pulls out a gun, and shoots Banky repeatedly in a crowded auditorium]
    Hooper: Black rage! BLACK RAGE!!!!
  • Fair for Its Day: The film was an honest attempt by Smith at depicting and exploring the complex feelings that can arise from the intersection of heterosexual and homosexual relationships. And it ain't just about Holden/Alyssa, either, and moreover one of his "big points" seems intended to be that it's more complex than a clear dividing line between "straight" and "gay". And Lord knows that even in 1997, a movie that treated lesbians and gay men like regular human beings with regular human feelings was a rare enough unicorn. These days, though, the film often gets more than a little criticism for the lesbian characters having a lot of "sterotypical" lesbian traits and characterization, and for the concept of "convert a lesbian to straight by being man enough!" even coming up as a concept, despite the film being unequivocal about the character saying it being an idiot. The ending making things ambiguous on that front doesn't help matters, either, even if what Smith wanted to do was point out that it's always more complicated than a binary divide.
    • Given much of the criticism over the handling of Alyssa's character has echoed a long-enduring complaint of Queer female sexuality being viewed solely through a Straight Male point-of-view- and it also doesn't help that the main story is rumored to actually be based off a male producer's crush for a lesbian colleague, which would seem to confirm a slightly uncomfortable and unintentionally homophobic wish-fulfillment fantasy.
  • Fridge Horror: While Banky's statement about lesbians "needing a good dicking" most likely wasn't intended to imply corrective rape, the fact that that's exactly what he's describing when he says that is unnerving to say the least.
  • Fridge Logic: Didn't Holden, before he found out Alyssa was gay, wonder what she'd been doing on a panel for minority comic creators?
    • Perhaps he thought it was because she was a woman — even today, though by a smaller margin than when Chasing Amy was made, female comic book creators are still greatly outnumbered.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In a notable discussion of the film, Hooper theorizes that Archie and Jughead are gay lovers. In 2011, Archie Comics depicted a same-sex wedding with Kevin Keller, the series' first and (to date, only) major character who is openly gay.
      • Even moreso in 2015 when it was revealed that Jughead was canonically asexual
    • Hooper's "The Black Man Is God" button became this in 2003...
    • Hooper accusing Star Wars of being racist. Take note that this was released two years before Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, a movie faced a lot of accusations of racism with regards to Jar-Jar Binks.
    • Ben Affleck seducing a lesbian is a huge part of the plot of Gigli, too.
    • Ben Affleck's character writing a comic about a stoner Expy of Batman became this when he got cast as the Caped Crusader.
    • Speaking of Ben Affleck, the title of the movie itself becomes funny when the premise of Gone Girl — which he starred in — involves his character effectively chasing after the titular missing girl, who is also named Amy.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Banky and Holden. SO MUCH. It's text, not subtext, that the reason Banky dislikes Alyssa so much is because he's in love with Holden and doesn't realize it. Not only that, but Holden points all this stuff out.
    • The heroes of another story, Alyssa's ex-boyfriends who nicknamed her "finger cuffs", certainly apply.
  • I Am Not Shazam: The female love interest is named Alyssa, not Amy.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Holden. Nobody can fault him for falling in love with someone he know's won't love him back, but it doesn't excuse how selfish he becomes when he starts insisting that the other person love him on his terms.
  • Misaimed Fandom: The character who believed that a lesbian could be "converted" by the right man. Said character is also shown to be an idiot.
  • Misaimed Marketing: Arguable. "Guy meets bisexual-identifying-as-lesbian girl, guy loses girl because of his hangups" doesn't sell as well as "Ben Affleck meets lesbian, Ben Affleck falls for lesbian, lesbian... falls for Ben Affleck."
  • Moral Event Horizon: For most of the movie, Holden is a fairly likable, if thoughtless, person who succeeds in making himself look like an idiot when he confesses his love to his lesbian friend and insists that she "give it a try." We'll call him lucky on that one. However, when he outs her about her devious sexual past in public and proceeds to follow and continue to verbally abuse her, you will stop feeling sorry for him.
  • Narm:
  • Older Than They Think: One might assume Soul Asylum's "We 3," which plays over the credits, was written for the film, but it actually came out seven years prior.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Jay and Silent Bob show up eighty minutes into the movie, say their piece and leave. Their scene not only features Silent Bob's The One That Got Away speech which kicks off the final act of the movie but also has some of the funniest dialogue in the movie.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Getting angry at your partner about their sexual past just because that past makes you feel sexually inadequate, and expecting them to love you on your terms, is petty, and can destroy an otherwise good relationship if you don't deal with it the right way.
  • Tear Jerker: The entire last third, beginning with Holden verbally abusing Alyssa to the point of tears and continuing to do so after she apologizes for not being more honest with him, continuing on through Holden's intervention with her and Banky which ultimately ends up destroying his relationships with both of them to their unspoken make-up in the epilogue.
  • Values Resonance: For better or worse, there are still plenty of people, but especially men, who believe that, just because they're nice guys, they automatically deserve the affection of the people they're attracted to, so the film's message of not forcing someone to love you on their terms is still relevant.