YMMV / Chasing Amy

  • Accidental Aesop: Just because you're a nice guy doesn't mean you're entitled to your ideal girlfriend.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: A subject of contention among viewers is whether Alyssa knew she was attracted to men but identified as a lesbian before she met Holden or if she thought she was gay and Holden managed to convince her otherwise. Which interpretation you go for usually determines how much you enjoy this movie.
  • Anvilicious: Between the Dramatic Thunder when Holden tells Alyssa that he loves her and the fight breaking out during a hockey game at the exact second Alyssa confirms that she's had a very promiscuous straight pass, you can see 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.
  • 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!!!!
    • Banky's "four way road" bit. It's only funny because it's wrong.
    • Banky, at first, seems to only agree to Holden's proposal for a three-way with his best male friend in an innocuous "Why not?" sort of way. His response when Alyssa tearfully declines? "Thank god!"note 
  • Fair for Its Day: The film has seen much flack in The New '10s for its "stereotypical" depiction of lesbian characters and narrow-minded view of homosexuality, especially since it's yet another depiction of the homosexual experience through the eyes of a storyteller who isn't homosexual. In 1997, this was fairly groundbreaking in its earnest depiction of homosexual characters, something that's sadly still rare enough to bear mentioning. It also sheds some much-needed light on the concept of bisexuality and general non-binary sexuality. The fact that the ending is rather ambiguous has hurt its reputation a bit, and non-fans are quick to point out that Smith, despite his noble efforts, otherwise screwed up the film's ultimate message.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Alyssa's joke about losing her virginity in a town with the same name as the infamous Sandy Hook School Shooting.
  • 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.
      • The argument was officially put to rest in 2015 when it was revealed that Jughead was canonically asexual
      • In the same scene, the argument somehow escalated to Banky claiming that "Archie is not fucking Mr. Weatherbee!" Then came Riverdale, which had a subplot of Archie getting into a sexual relationship with Ms. Grundy.
    • 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.
    • While discussing Degrassi Junior High, Bankie says that he has a thing for girls who say "Aboot." The main characters in Kevin Smith's later film Yoga Hosers are two Canadian girls who comically exaggerate their "aboot"s.
  • 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.
    • Banky and Hooper keep antagonizing each other over the course of the movie, Banky trying to get Hooper to break character and Hooper trying to get Banky to recognize "obvious" homosexual references. Also not subtext. Banky and Hooper end up a couple.
    • 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 knows won't love him back, but they can and do for treating that person as if they owe him something when he demands that he love her on his terms.
  • Misaimed Fandom: In-universe. The character who believed that a lesbian could be "converted" by the right man. Said character is also shown to be an idiot. And a deeply closeted one, at that.
  • 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." On the other hand, sexuality only plays a passive role in the story, which is more about how it's wrong to force someone to love you on your own terms, making the film's tagline "It's not who you love, it's how''" a perfect summary.
  • 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: A love confession shouldn't give one Ending Fatigue.
  • 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.
  • Society Marches On: While the depictions of queer sexuality are up for debate on their fairness, the scene of Alyssa playing the "pronoun game" by using gender-neutral pronouns rules out the possibility that she's referring to someone who's non-binary. That concept was unheard of in 1997, but its acknowledgment is practically required, particularly among LGBTQ people, in The New '10s
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Expecting your partner to love you on your terms and then getting angry at them because their sexual past doesn't live up to those terms (and makes you feel sexually inadequate) is petty, and can destroy an otherwise good relationship if you don't deal with it correctly.
  • 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.
  • Win Back the Crowd: After Mallrats scared off all of the critics who loved Clerks, this film proved that Kevin Smith was not going to be a One-Hit Wonder.