I love Chasing Amy. It’s actually my second favorite film of all time. I also approach it, like Kevin Smith did when he wrote and directed it in 1997, as a heterosexual man. Now, filmmaker Sav Rodgers, the writer and director of Chasing Chasing Amy, saw the movie from a very different point of view. The meaning they found in it, as well as the fuel it gave them to move forward, led directly to this affecting and effective documentary. Playing at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival, the flick is undoubtedly among the cream of the festival crop.
Chasing Chasing Amy has a lot to say, not just about the 1997 romantic comedy, but about how LGBTQ+ individuals were depicted at the time, or more accurately, were not depicted. In addition, it really interestingly shows a fan grappling with their favorite work, as well as the creator of said work reflecting back on who they were when they made it, as opposed to who they are now. It’s actually quite beautiful.
The documentary follows filmmaker Sav Rodgers as they go on a very personal journey while also making a movie about the importance of Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy to them. As a preteen kid from Kansas, struggling with their sexuality and eventually gender identity, the impact of seeing this kind of representation was monumental to Rodgers. It made them want to be a storyteller, eventually leading to this story.
Throughout the doc, we get plenty of behind the scenes looks at Chasing Amy, as well as some truly enlightening conversations with Smith (who is very nearly a co-star here), Joey Lauren Adams, and more. We also follow Rodgers on their road to coming out as a transgender man, something revealed to Smith in their sit down interview (with heartwarming results). This plot point also factors in Rodgers’ relationship with their partner, weaving everything together to make for a full cinematic meal.
What fascinates me most here is how Rodgers and Smith interact. It’s very rare to see the filmmaker who made the work being considered in a documentary like this participate as much as he does. It’s not in defense of the film, either, as Smith speaks very candidly about how it’s a work of a time and place. Joey Lauren Adams also has a truly moving interview, so all three of them really do put forth their hearts and souls here.
Sav Rodgers is an emerging filmmaker who showcases a ton of passion here. There’s nothing groundbreaking about the directing on display, but Chasing Chasing Amy is pulled from deep in their marrow. Now, the interviews with Smith and company, as well as the making of aspect for the flick do work more effectively than the relationship elements, but that’s not a criticism. We’re just better aquatinted with Smith than Rodgers and their partner. By the end, everyone has won you over.
Chasing Chasing Amy ultimately sees Rodgers thoughtfully reconsider Smith’s seminal work and their relationship to it, with Smith along for the ride. Both fans and newbies to the film will find much to think about here. I love the movie, I love this documentary, and I think you will too. Now playing at Tribeca, it’s one of the fest’s definite highlights.