Blogging Amy

Not long after I got home from work yesterday I was scrolling through my movie channels, basically zoning out while looking for something to watch.  Suddenly, I saw a shot of something straight out of my childhood.  It was Broad Street in Red Bank New Jersey; basically a mile from where I grew up.  The shot was a split second and the only reason I caught it was because I had known the place so well for so long.  Other than hanging out in someone’s basement, before we had cars Red Bank was like the only place to hang because we could walk there.  In one glimpse I was suddenly shot back to my old stomping grounds; as well as suddenly very nostalgic. 

Only one director would have a shot like that, I had clearly found a Kevin Smith movie.  I’ve always been a fan of Kevin Smith, Mallrats being one of my all-time favorite movies.    I loved Clerks, and Dogma is one of the most thoughtful and well-written comedies I’ve ever seen.  However, this was Chasing Amy, a more underappreciated Smith film amongst my generation.  In fact, I’ve only seen Chasing Amy once, despite my respect for Kevin Smith and his films.  Luckily it was on Showtime East, which meant it’d be running back on Showtime West.  Thus, I hit the DVR and I give you the live blog of Chasing Amy:

9:44 PM: Bluntman and Chronic…the true heroes of the movie.  I remember when I first found out about Kevin Smith’s comic book store in Red Bank.  I was never into comics, I don’t know, I guess they were a bit more before my time; but I remember begging my mom to take me to the store when I found out about it in an ill-advised attempt to try and meet either Kevin Smith or Jason Mewes.  Didn’t happen, but of course I wasted my mom’s money on comics I never even read.

9:45 PM: Banky’s explaining what an inker does in the comic industry and I notice LeForge from Mallrats over his shoulder.  Awesome.  If you don’t know who LeForge is…well your mother’s a tracer!

9:45 PM:  Hooper-X advancing his work, The White Hating Coon.  Won’t lie, I’d read that one.

9:46 PM:  Classic race defense, “Lando Calrissian was a black guy and he got to fly the Millennium Falcon!”…. by the way, Banky is right, what is a Nubian?

9:48 PM:  I had completely forgotten how funny the rant about how Star Wars is a metaphor for race relations and that Darth Vader ending up as crusty old white guy symbolizes all black dudes want to be white on the inside.  10 minutes into the movie, I’m fully ready to recommend everyone watch Chasing Amy again…seriously, do it.

9:50 PM:  Just for the soundtrack alone, great 90s tunes.

9:52 PM:  Also, what the fuck happened to Jason Lee?  He was fucking amazing in these Kevin Smith movies, then he did My Name is Earl and disappeared.  Someone find this guy pronto!

9:53 PM:  On the other end is Ben Affleck as Holden McNeil…would have been nicer if he was the one who disappeared after his run of Smith flicks.

Jason Lee is great as Banky and Ben Affleck is Ben Affleck as Holden

Jason Lee is great as Banky and Ben Affleck is Ben Affleck as Holden

9:56 PM:  First shot of Broad Street and Jack’s Music Shoppe…the “quaint” music store with overpriced CDs that pretty much got me through my youth until I had a car, lord knows my mom wasn’t going to drive me to the mall to pick up the new Kid Rock album.  And yes I’ll be referencing every time I see something from my home, if you don’t like it stop reading and go masturbate or something.

9:58 PM:  I know Affleck is playing a character here, but Holden is such a poon…I’m convinced Affleck had to do no acting at all.

10:01 PM:  Poor Holden has no idea he’s falling in love with a lesbian despite the fact that he’s in a bar completely surrounded by them…ouch.  Speaking of which, if a girl invited you out to a bar, then got on stage and sang a love song then pointed, seemingly at you when it’s over but actually called another broad up to the stage and made out with her…how would you react?

10:05 PM:  Line of the movie so far, “Hey, I always recognize the bored look in her eyes!”

10:05 PM:  Banky’s rant is 100% right, chicks never provide any direction, they just expect us to know what to do and how to do it…there is such a thing as a bad teacher ladies.

10:06 PM:  I can’t help but think this scene with Banky and Alyssa comparing sex injury stories over beers is an homage to Jaws…maybe that’s just what I want to believe.

If you've ever seen Jaws, you'll agree with me

If you’ve ever seen Jaws, you’ll agree with me

10:12 PM:  Hey!  It’s a 20 year-old Matt Damon in a minor role!

10:12 PM:  Immediately followed by another shot of Broad St.! 

10:14 PM:  Ok, maybe I’m wrong, but I’m almost positive that they’re now in Victory Park in Rumson.  Pretty sure I went to a number of parties at that fucking gazebo.  Plus I’d recognize the Bridge to “blaze road” any day.

10:15 PM: Alyssa, “I fell on a fence post when I was 10 and it broke my hymen.”  Ouch. 

10:15 PM:  Thought that was bad?  Her miming the action of fisting is somehow even more unpleasant…

Victory Park in Rumson NJ...and the bridge behind it

Victory Park in Rumson NJ…and the bridge behind it

10:17 PM:  Holden unofficially decides to try and make Alyssa change teams…many have tried, more have failed

10:18 PM:  Ok, her throwing skeeball like a baseball is just too unrealistic.  Gotta call it like I see it Kev.

10:20 PM:  Montage scene clearly means it’s time to grab another beer…

10:21 PM:  Best way to a lesbian’s heart?  With a naked chick cake…well done Holden.

10:23 PM:  NHL 94!  The best game of all time!  Forget NJ nostalgia…it’s all about SEGA Genesis nostalgia.

10:23 PM:  Banky’s a fucking genius, the intersection analogy needs be used more often.

10:28 PM:  Ugh…that look, we’ve all seen it.  I’ll give Affleck some credit here.  This is a pretty solid “pouring one’s heart out” speech….too bad, she’s gay dude….

10:30 PM:  Back in Red Bank and there’s a giant “Earplugged” poster in the shot, I’m fairly certain I had one of those CDs

10:30 PM:  Oh my god, he did it!  The crazy son of a bitch did it!  I guess to get a lesbian to switch sides one needs to be Ben Affleck.  I can see why Holden tried so hard, Joey Lauren Adams is a babe in this movie.

Am I right, fellas?

Am I right, fellas?

10:38 PM:  Is telling one’s gay crew you’re now into the hetero thing like originally coming out in the first place?  The looks on these lesbo faces certainly suggests so.

10:45 PM:  Solid monologue by Alyssa explaining the philosophy behind the role our families, friends, and society play into our choices, classic Smith writing, just excellent.

10:58 PM:  Sweet!  The QuickStop in Highlands!

11:01 PM:  Nice, a scene inside Jack’s Music Shoppe…I wonder if it’s still even open, doesn’t seem like a business model that’d be viable today.

11:01 PM:  Aha!  It is still open, although it’s not so much a CD store as it is kind of a venue/instrument shop.  I forget how long I’ve been gone.

Jack's Music Shoppe, a long time Red Bank staple, and focal point of the movie

Jack’s Music Shoppe, a long time Red Bank staple, and focal point of the movie

11:03 PM:  He’s gone sort of unmentioned, but Hooper X is one of the funniest characters in the movie.  Half gay guy, half Black Panther…not a combo you see every day.

11:08 PM:  Hold on a second…is that the Armory Ice Rink?  Fantastic!  My nephew plays there and that’s where I got hit in the head with a puck during an RFH game…ahhh memories.

11:12 PM:  Great use of the hockey fight and escalating heart beat to display Holden’s rage, followed by the Haymaker.  Gold!

11:15 PM:  Also, for all the good things that we’re nostalgic for the 90s, fashion can’t be one of them.  Way too many denim jackets.

11:17 PM:  Again, this scene just screams that Ben Affleck had to do absolutely no acting for this movie.  Joey Lauren Adams is fucking amazing in this scene and Affleck looks like one of those living statues on a street corner.

11:18 PM:  Who’d be so fucking naïve to believe that they could convert a lesbian and then be, “a normal couple.”  The fact you’re a couple at all, in itself is not normal.

11:25 PM:  Jay and Silent Bob finally make an appearance, an hour and twenty-three in…if I hadn’t have known better I was sure they were going to be left out.  Silent Bob aka Lunchbox.  To this day, I don’t know why so many guys on my football team called me “Lunchbox,” oh wait….



11:30 PM:  Jay dropping wisdom: “It’s like Cube says, ‘Life ain’t nothin’ but bitches and money.’”

11:30 PM:  Also, “Finger Cuffs” is a hilarious nickname for a sloot.

11:30 PM:  I may have been given a nickname inspired by Silent Bob, but I’ll never be able to drop the wisdom like Tons of Fun can.  Wouldn’t even try.

11:30 PM:  Oh yeah…and I never shut the hell up.  Silent Bob I am not…

11:33 PM:  Snoochie Boochies. 

I cut the live blog about 30 minutes short of the end, I thought Jay and Silent Bob’s final line served as a good stopping point.  Don’t want to give away too much of the movie, something that unfortunately happens with me too often.

I had forgotten how good Chasing Amy was.  A bit more dramatic with less laugh out loud humor than a lot of Smith’s other films, but it’s excellently written and has very deep characters, including the exceedingly dry Holden.  It’s not as funny as Mallrats or as much social commentary as Dogma but shares aspects of both.   This started as a stroll down memory lane for me.  I’ll always miss Fair Haven and its sister towns of Rumson and Red Bank.  Luckily, I can always turn to Kevin Smith movies to take me back.  I’d seriously recommend any of his flicks (even the excessively goofy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back).  Smith has great vision and is a brilliant writer.  He creates real characters that share similarities with all of us and weaves a brilliant story on film.  If you’re already a fan, I urge you to re-watch one that you haven’t seen in a while.  If you’re not a fan, well pick any of them, you will be soon enough.