Chasing Amy The Transgressor Romantic Comedy English Literature Essay

Kevin Smiths Chasing Amy, 1997, is non a typical romantic comedy. Sometimes the line between love and sex seems about unseeable, but the differences and complications of understanding them are rather clear in this movie. The issues presented in Chasing Amy are straight related to its duologue with treatments of “ political relations of gender ” . They are besides easy related to mundane life in our civilization.

Harmonizing to McGann, 2005 the “ sexual natural attitude ” that is reflected through our western civilization differs greatly from that of other civilizations. Our “ sexual natural attitude ” indicates that worlds fall into two distinguishable and complementary classs: male and female. Our civilization denotes normalcy to be when two people of different genders have sexual dealingss or acquire married. Ours is a male dominated society where norms are frequently based on andocentric beliefs.

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In western civilization, in contrast to Ancient Greece, gender is used to characterize people harmonizing to their sexual behavior. Other civilizations view sex as a natural pleasance activity while our society has elevated it to the look of a individual ‘s individuality and moral codification.

Chasing Amy contributes to this position of society as the whole movie is centered around sexual existences and the influence of sex on their lives. Chasing Amy is an history of people ‘s frights about sex and relationships every bit good as the suppressions and insecurities that are attached to them. Therefore, the best manner to understand the movie ‘s message is to analyze the sexual individuality of the characters in it.

The characters are used to portray the stereotyped perceptual experiences of males and females every bit good as what is expected of them. Some characters show a combination of these stereotyped perceptual experiences, while others are the incarnation of a sexually comfy and confident individual. The combination of different experiences, positions, and beliefs shown in the movie allows for many confrontational arguments on what sex should intend in today ‘s society and in our lives.

The debut of homophiles in romantic comedy

In the romantic comedy genre, the bulk of homophiles in movies are either friends, such as in My Best Friend ‘s Wedding, 1997A , or back uping characters. However, there are a twosome of movies from the late nineties that touched on giving homosexualism a more of import function. ChasingA Amy, for illustration, is the narrative of a male supporter, Holden ( Ben Affleck ) falling in love with Alyssa ( Joey Lauren Adams ) who is a sapphic. The job with the movie is that even though the twosome do n’t stop up together, the friendly relationship between Holden and Alyssa becomes love, after she admits to holding heterosexual feelings for him excessively. In this manner the movie still follows the more traditional heterosexual male discourses about sapphism ( Deleyto, 179 ) . Today what is most common is the presence of a cheery character or two to maintain up with social criterions in the new millenary. Romantic comedy where the love affair is between a homosexual twosome is still really scarce.

In Chasing Amy the first character we meet represents a stereotyped male of today ‘s society although he is homosexual. Banky ( Jason Lee ) , is portrayed as an nescient homophobe who is speedy to do a gag of sexual content. Banky takes portion in all the typical male fetish behaviours such as basking a aggregation of “ stroke ” magazines, fantasying about Catholic school misss, watching tribades together, and doing derogative statements about others ‘ sexual orientation. Banky remarks to Alyssa that, “ Everyone needs *censored* . ” This statement could hold the typical woman hater significance of male laterality and female entry. However, it could besides be a subconscious truth that Banky “ needs *censored* ” because he is homosexual and uses this behaviour as a forepart in order to mask his gender. In fact, throughout the movie it is made clear that he is in love with Holden. Nevertheless, Banky is excessively uncomfortable with his gender to acknowledge the truth.

Banky ‘s behavior to dissemble his homosexualism seems to back up the thought that we question and criticise others because this causes us to oppugn our ain world – Banky is homophobic because he is uncomfortable with non suiting into society ‘s heterosexual class.

Another character to analyze is Holden ( Ben Afleck ) . Holden is Banky ‘s best friend but does non hold the same mentality as he does. Holden seems to be an open-minded person. Harmonizing to Anthony Giddens ( 1992 ) “ for a twosome, ‘the pure relationship ‘ involves opening up to each other, basking each other ‘s alone qualities and prolonging trust through common revelation ” . However this “ opening up to each other ” causes Holden to see Alyssa as a slattern when he becomes cognizant of her past sexual experiences. This is the typical intervention of adult females who are sexually experienced, by work forces who are excessively immature to cover with it.

Holden can non go on their relationship as he Judgess Alyssa who is more experient than him. He labels her as a slattern to counterbalance for his feelings of insufficiency. Holden gives excessively much importance to sex in his relationship with Alyssa. He allows his masculine pride and insecurity about his gender to destroy his relationship with Alyssa. This is unfortunate as it is a relationship full of love and potency.

Silent Bob ( Kevin Smith ) gives us an thought of how Holden would be wiser in the hereafter ; wiser because of his experience with Alyssa. The first position we are given is of a cold, quiet temperament that makes Silent Bob appear to be a difficult adult male. Yet we finally see a more feminine side to him as his friend remarks that Bob is a “ softie ” because he cries while listening to the Barbara Streisand vocal, “ You Do n’t Bring Me Flowers. ” Silent Bob, who found himself in the same state of affairs as Holden, grew because of his loss and is no longer afraid of his feelings of insufficiency. He is now a better individual and on a higher degree of understanding his gender, capable of acknowledging his defects and uncertainnesss.

Hooper ( Dwight Ewell ) is an interesting mediating character as he is homosexual but acts heterosexual for his public image as a strong black societal figure. The stereotyped position of a homosexual would non be a good function theoretical account because he would be viewed as weak and possibly non masculine. Hooper would non be viewed as a true adult male if he were viewed as a homosexual. It would be better for him to accept his homosexualism and show it to society, but as we have learned, Hooper will non be accepted in our civilization and his calling will endure.

In Kobena Mercer ‘s piece, “ Black Masculinity and Sexual Politics of Race ” it is stated that “ through such corporate, historical experiences black work forces have adopted certain patriarchal values such as physical strength, sexual art and being in control as a agency of endurance against the repressive and violent system of subordination to which they were subjected. The incorporation of a codification of ‘macho ‘ behaviour is therefore apprehensible as a agency of recovering some grade of power over the status of impotence and dependence in relation to the white maestro topic. ” In order for Hooper to be regarded in his field he must keep this forepart that has accompanied the black adult male, and non the “ muliebrity ” that is associated with being homosexual.

Alyssa as Giddens ‘ revolution in female sexual liberty

For Giddens, a ‘revolution in female sexual liberty ‘ is related to adult females happening sexual pleasance in ways which are non dictated by work forces. In Chapter 4: Love, Commitment and the Pure Relationship of Gidden ‘s The Transformation of Intimacy he chiefly focuses on how the function of adult females has changed in heterosexual relationships over clip This alteration that Giddens refers to is shown through the character of Alyssa.

A cardinal constituent of the film is “ sexual natural attitude ” which implies that each gender has certain natural functions in life. Alyssa is the healthiest sexual being portrayed as a immature adult female unsure of her gender ; she experimented to happen who she was. She feels that she does non suit into any of society ‘s classs and looks to a aberrant life style without carry throughing the normal outlooks of the civilization. If a social label is needed, she is bisexual as she has been involved with both work forces and adult females in her life-time, but happening the relationships with work forces unfulfilling, she turns to adult females. She did non merely accept society ‘s heterosexual life style, but lived her life on her ain footings, comfy and confident in her picks. She is a true women’s rightist who believes in adult female ‘s rights but has non dismissed work forces as spouses. Alyssa does non necessitate a adult male but did non deny herself happiness because Holden was a adult male.

She knows the difference between love and sex, “ I do n’t love her, but I ‘ll *censored* her. ” Alyssa chooses Holden because of their connexion, non his sex. Her experiences help her to be certain of what she wants in a spouse and relationship. She is non a stereotyped straight person or “ man-hating ” sapphic, but she is traveling and altering on a sexual continuum. As Gayle Rubin tells us in “ Thinking Sexual activity, ” this spectrum of sexual individuality is shaped by community norms and values. However, Alyssa makes her pick of spouse based on the whole being non simply on their sex or society ‘s outlooks.

As Giddens suggests there are thoughts about romantic love that need to be redefined – the thought that love can merely happen between a adult male and a adult female, romantic love is supposed to do you experience enraptured and cockamamie, or that love will last everlastingly. As clearly portrayed in the movie, none of these are needfully true in today ‘s universe. Homosexual love is portion of our civilization and can non be denied.

The sexual individualities of the characters besides show us the movie ‘s mentality on how adult females and work forces are evaluated otherwise based on their sexual behaviour. Throughout the film we see the dual criterions that are present in our society and the different tensenesss and jobs they cause. For illustration, Alyssa is involved in a sexual experience with two other cats. She is labeled a slattern and people think that she was used by the work forces she slept with. Alyssa used experiences like this in order to detect her sexual individuality. Throughout her sexual journey, she was looked down upon by society yet she had no fright of judgement and lived her life harmonizing to her ain desires.

Although both work forces and adult females are viewed as emotional and sexual existences, adult females are viewed as being ruled by their emotions. What happens in Chasing Amy disproves this theory as Holden ruins his relationship because he is insecure about his maleness and sexual experience. It is in fact Holden who is ruled by his emotions, non Alyssa.

Alyssa found her moral criterions after looking to herself, alternatively of to society, for her inspiration, and she was criticized because of this. Sex is rewarded or punished in society because it exists in a context. Her experient yesteryear is unexpected and non accepted while work forces are expected to hold this experience to be existent work forces. This is the ground why Holden is unable to cover with his girlfriend holding more diverse sexual experiences than him.

There are besides some similarities in the manner lesbians treat Alyssa and the remainder of society. Alyssa is evaluated by her friends as non-gender because she is now in love with the awful male. These apparently feminist adult females are supposed to desire the best for her regardless of whether she is happy with a adult male, but they are excessively involved in the stereotype to make this.

Alyssa follows Rich ‘s jurisprudence that sexual individuality can potentially alter throughout life, yet Alyssa is compelled by both homosexualism and heterosexualism, doing it impossible for her to follow society ‘s norms of each ( Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence ) . Alyssa ‘s continuum besides causes her uncomfortableness because as people change, their whole universe is “ set into turbulence ” and things she one time did are no longer typical of the individual she now is or what people expect. Lesbians put the same force per unit area on Alyssa to conform to their group norms, as society does for people to be heterosexual.

We see the movies mentality on other gender issues as good. The characters ideas sing “ *censored* ” and “ virginity ” show the lacking of a pluralistic moral principle and the construct of a benign sexual fluctuation. Both these theories are based upon the thought that there is merely one context to sex and that we should follow this narrow intolerance of fluctuation. Banky is unable to understand the surrogate significance of “ *censored* ” when designated towards two adult females. It is suiting of his nescient character that he is unable to see past the stereotyped position of sex. Holden is besides puzzled by the thought that person can lose their virginity without holding sexual intercourse.

In add-on, the movie shows the credence of some types of sex while other sorts of sex are less recognized. This hierarchal rating of sex Acts of the Apostless ( Rubin ) is the cause of Alyssa ‘s job with Holden. Her being a tribade is acceptable but the idea of her with two cats is intolerable. Lorde ‘s thoughts are besides touched upon where sex is better when it is with person you love. However Silent Bob points out that Amy was non looking for a good sexual experience, but for love with person particular.

There were some points in Chasing Amy that made me genuinely think about myself and the undisputed way I have taken. Alyssa does non restrict herself to work forces or adult females in order to happen her psyche mate. I think this is of import because you love person because of who they are, non sex, coloring material, or looks. If you limit yourself to these things you lose out. It is of import to spread out your skylines and be unfastened to other possibilities. I besides liked Alyssa ‘s thought of necessitating a map to happen who we are in the universe. We all need to research and detect what we truly want from life.

Holden ‘s last remark is that because of his experience with Alyssa he eventually has something personal to state. He grows as a individual because of his new experiences with her, and really additions an experience he did non cognize he wanted.

Conventional facets of romantic comedy in Holden

“ I love you. And no, non in a friendly manner, although I think we ‘re great friends. And non in a misplaced fondness, puppy Canis familiaris manner, although I ‘m certain that ‘s what you ‘ll name it. I love you. Very, really simple. Very genuinely. You are the prototype of everything I have of all time looked for in another human being. ” ( Chasing Amy, Kevin Smith ) .

As antecedently mentioned one of the most important ideals in romantic comedy is the impression that there is merely one perfect love for each person. “ Alyssa, there is n’t another psyche on this bally planet who has of all time made me half the individual I am when I ‘m with you ” .

This ideal of the perfect love is seen through the character of Holden, the chief character of Chasing Amy. At a convention, Holden meets fighting creative person Alyssa Jones ( Adams ) and falls in love with her. It ‘s love at first sight. Although he feels threatened by Alyssa ‘s sexual experience, he finally realises that Alyssa makes him insecure because of her yesteryear.

Holden assumes his formerly lesbian-identifying girlfriend has ne’er been with a adult male. When he finds out from a friend that she was involved in a 3 with two work forces 10 old ages earlier, he ‘s brokenhearted. He passive-aggressively brings the subject up while they ‘re at a hockey game together and she calls and admits to many different sexual Acts of the Apostless and spouses. Then she says she ‘s non traveling to apologize for her yesteryear. This torments Holden for the remainder of the movie and finally ruins their relationship.

Through Holden, Smith portrays the hunt for the perfect spouse, that true love exists and if you find that individual out at that place for you, so you can see true love every bit good. These feelings by and large tend to pull in a specific character: adult females. However Smith portrays this in a male character which breaks one of the conventional facets found in romantic comedies.

Chasing Amy is non your typical love narrative. It has a turn. Boy meets girl, boy loves girl, miss is a sapphic, girl loves boy, boy loses miss, boy wholly destroys the possibility of future felicity between the two. It ‘s really unpredictable, and does n’t incorporate the stoping many would likely anticipate. Improbable many romantic films, this is a relationship between imperfect people who can, and make, state and make the incorrect things



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