“Jay and Silent Bob Reboot” isn’t just a sequel to “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.” Kevin Smith’s latest reference- and callback-heavy movie satirizing Hollywood and his entire filmography also provides a touching new ending to another one of his classics: 1997’s “Chasing Amy.”
“Chasing Amy” is just one movie Smith was able to “sequelize” with “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot,” along with “Clerks 2,” “Mallrats” and “Dogma,” all parts of Smith’s “Askewniverse” in which both title characters Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) appear.
Some critics have argued “Chasing Amy’s” story of a straight man (Ben Affleck’s Holden) romantically pursuing a lesbian woman (Joey Lauren Adams’ Amy) has not aged well in the 22 years since its release. So bringing back both actors for a “where are they now” scene in “Reboot” allowed Smith to correct the record on that narrative.
“Suddenly ‘Chasing Amy’ is completely f—ing reframed through that one 30 second clip in this movie,” Smith told TheWrap in an interview. “‘Chasing Amy’ has become a bit more problematic for some audiences in the current climate. So I got to go back and correct that stuff as well … how ‘Chasing Amy’ would’ve been so much better if it was made by anybody but a cis, white male. Things we couldn’t say in 1997 because we didn’t know they existed, but things that I get from 22 years of perspective and hearing people talk about the movie, good and bad, for two f—ing decades.”
Smith said that for years he used to hold up “Chasing Amy” as his “shield” or “umbrella,” a more serious turn for the comedy director that he or any critics could fall back on no matter what movies he made in his career. But through years of meeting with fans who have matured along with the movie, he’s gained a new perspective on how he might tell that story today.
In addition to the Affleck and Adams cameos, Smith recruits the help of his real-life sister, who showed up in the final scene of the original movie. Without giving away any specifics, all three help provide a romantic bit of closure to where these characters would be 20 years after the events of the original.
That should come as good news to John Oliver in particular, who recently called out the film in a segment on “Last Week Tonight.”
“Set aside the notion that any lesbian could be magically turned straight if the right guy comes along. What’s extra offensive in hindsight is the idea that guy would be Ben Affleck,” Oliver joked.
Smith thought this was something of a “low blow” by Oliver and defends that “Chasing Amy” even includes a character addressing the very notion that a lesbian could be magically made straight. But Smith loved the shout-out anyway.
“I’m a big fan of the show, and as I was sitting there watching, I was like, ‘Holy s-! My picture’s on the screen,” Smith said. “My wife was like, it wasn’t a flattering reference. I don’t give a s—! It’s John Oliver! Relevancy man!”
Watch a clip of TheWrap’s interview with Smith above. “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot” opens in theaters via Fathom Events on Oct. 15 and 17. Smith and Mewes will also tour with the film across 62 cities following its initial release.