I know, I know, it seems utter madness that someone like me hasn’t ever watched this film…especially as I really like Clerks, but it seems that I have never really gotten around to watching this until tonight.
There’s a whole lot going on in this, isn’t there…infatuation to the point of love, the issue of being in love with your gay best friend, and then the seeming turning point (really doesn’t this make her Bi? Or at least bi curious) then the finding out about the past leading to feelings of betrayal, the proposition then the separation. Wowza.
I both like and dislike the idea that despite being gay she could fall in love with him, it’s true that you can be so in tune with another that sexuality doesn’t come in to the picture when a love is so pure, but I feel the film approaches this in an odd and clunky way. For Holden (Ben Affleck) this is like obtaining the unobtainable. His declaration of love to Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams) is touching and indulgent which then feels to the viewer that this could be that elusive true love that most people strive for, but it feels like it deteriorates too quickly, with Holden prying in to her past and then jumping to conclusions instead of just asking her. What holds the issue for me is that this film could have run its course without Alyssa ever being a lesbian. The issues in their relationship derive from her hidden promiscuity, therefore what was the need for her being a lesbian? Was it to try and convey my previous sentiment, that true love transcends sexuality? Maybe, but sadly it just felt like the film was saying she was a lesbian because she hadn’t found the right man.
As per any other Kevin Smith film, the dialogue is face paced and a little eccentric, which does appeal to me as I like things that don’t drag, but with Alyssa’s “cutesy” voice (trying to make her seem vulnerable?) and Holden’s moping it just makes the script pale to the irritation of the characters.
There is the other point which isn’t subtly made at all, in that Holden’s best friend a seeming homophobic guy, is actually way back in the closet (in fact he is close to visiting Narnia) and hasn’t really accepted that he is in love with Holden himself. This could have been approached In a subtle way, but Kevin Smith isn’t really known for his subtlety and bangs this home like a sledge hammer to a marshmallow.
Despite all of this, there are moments in the film which are enjoyable. This isn’t an out and out I hated it movie, but it’s one I’m ambivalent to and could go a very long time without ever watching it.
Scenes and filming is the usual Kevin Smith style with a feeling of the every day about it. Not his finest moment by any means, but it’s ok for a Sunday night film.