Dueling Film Reviews - Round Two: WHayes on JDub

Posted 4/04/2010 by WHayes in Labels: , , , , ,
I'll keep this short, as I'm sure you people are tired of hearing me blab on about love and shit (I'll be talking about The Matrix next).

Pragmatism isn't charming. It isn't hopeful though it tells you to hope, it's not consoling though it may help you grieve, it doesn't tell you that you really can get everything you want if you just fight hard enough, although it keeps you fighting anyway, and if you believe that you really do deserve to be loved just as much as the next person, pragmatism is waiting with a needle for your luftballons, "not everyone will find what they want." This said, playing Devil's Advocate on Holden's behalf, what's so wrong with trying to build that happy ending anyway?

The best thing about Chasing Amy - the source of its charm - is how, though the methods may be precious, Kevin Smith takes us fully within the conflicts that threaten the central relationship. With every sentence, the characters define in certain terms where their heads and hearts are, and speak to precisely what's tormenting them, even if they're being obtuse. In that atmosphere of such naked honesty, what's wrong with wanting everything to resolve into something more Disney than Daria? We all know how things are likely to end in the real world, how every committed romance is sure to be hard-won but littered with nothing-fights, miscommunication, unrequited feelings and nasty breakups. We also know how sincerely beautiful loving someone else can be; why not choose the latter?

In terms of Holden's comic, I don't think it represents a "thriving obsession with failed fantasy," as much as it does a bittersweet reality that while people may grow, they never really change. Holden moves past the stage where he desperately craves their triptych happy ending, but - and you can see it when he looks back at Alyssa one more time before literally "closing the door" on that chapter of their life - a part of him still wants their bond to be amiable. Honestly, there's nothing wrong with that.

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