Director: Sav Rodgers
Starring: Kevin Smith, Joey Lauren Adams, Guinevere Turner, Jason Lee, Andrew Ahn and Sav Rodgers
Country: USA
Running Time: 92 min
Year: 2024

To say that director Kevin Smith’s career has been a tumultuous one would be an understatement. After crashing onto the scene with his indie breakout Clerks, Smith followed the film up with the critical and commercial disaster Mallrats. Over the years, Mallrats has developed quite the cult audience, but that took a long time to happen. Faced with the choice to win audiences back, he created his most polarising film, Chasing Amy. Based on the relationship that he and lead actress Joey Lauren Adams were in at the time, Chasing Amy tackles queer sexuality and depending on who you’re asking, it fails spectacularly at that or succeeds in a way few films did at the time of its release. 

Over 25 years after Chasing Amy’s release, filmmaker Sav Rodgers hosted a TED Talk about how Chasing Amy saved his life, introducing him to queer cinema and becoming one of his favourite films of all time. Over the next few years, Sav began work on Chasing Chasing Amy, a documentary that aims to explore the creation, the reception and the importance of the film to Rogers. 

Going into this documentary, I had a tricky relationship with Chasing Amy as a film. I watched it at a young age, similar to Sav and found it relatively great, but it wasn’t until revisiting the film a few years ago that I realised how much my opinion on the film shifted. What was initially a charming, sweet comedy felt misguided at best, and uneducated on the matter of queer relationships at its worst. I’d be lying if I said that I liked Chasing Amy as a film before watching this, but after watching Chasing Chasing Amy, I feel like my opinion on what the film succeeds or fails at doesn’t truthfully matter all that much because the film wasn’t made for me. Chasing Amy was made for Kevin Smith as a way to grow as a human being at a specific point in his life. For director Sav Rodgers, the film completely changed his life in a way that I don’t want to spoil, as the documentary has an even more beautiful love story to tell than the film it’s about. 

While Chasing Chasing Amy initially starts with your typical talking heads interviews with critics, the cast and crew of Chasing Amy, including writer-director Kevin Smith, actors Joey Lauren Adams and Jason Lee, the film transforms into a tale of identity that I absolutely loved. Regardless of what I think of Kevin Smith’s films, I have nothing but love for the man because you can tell how much spreading positivity means to him. When the first interview with him commences early on into the film and Sav reveals off-camera that he’s a transgender man but doesn’t feel comfortable coming out publicly about it, my heart sank. Kevin’s response to this is so beautiful that it made me tear up, and from that moment on, the film shifts gears into the tale of Sav, which is where it really shines. 

Creating a documentary about such a contentious film is no small feat, but Sav completely pulls it off with an engaging experience that highlights both the bad and good aspects of Chasing Amy, including an eye-opening interview with Joey Lauren Adams that might be the film’s most upsetting scene. I absolutely loved every moment of Chasing Chasing Amy, as it’s an uplifting, hilarious and honest capsule of a person opening up, not just to himself, but to the world on who he is. 

I know we’re not even halfway through the year yet, but this is easily one of 2024’s best films and highlights the talents of director Sav Rodgers. As previously mentioned, Chasing Amy is a contentious film that has its fans, as well as its detractors. I revisited Chasing Amy after watching this documentary and actually really enjoyed it with this new perspective, so thankfully I’m no longer on the detractor side of things (even if it does have issues) which is great. Chasing Chasing Amy shows the beauty of cinema in a way few films can. It shows how something I might have perceived as a flawed film could transform and save the life of somebody else. Not only has it made me respect Chasing Amy more than I did before this, but it’s brought me one of my favourite films of this year, as well as one of the year’s most important. 


Chasing Chasing Amy
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Physical media collector with a questionable taste in film.

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