Holden (Affleck) and Banky (Lee) are New Jersey comic book writers and best mates. They live, eat and work together, circulating among a group of nerdy and weird friends, including stoners Jay (Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith). But when they attend a comic book convention and meet fellow scribbler Alyssa (Adams), their world is thrown into disarray.
Despite the fact that Alyssa is a lesbian, Holden falls for her, embarking on a relationship which threatens his and Banky's friendship and leads him to question the nature of sexual attraction, jealousy and love.
The third film made on a relative shoestring by director/writer Smith, "Chasing Amy" utilises the same sharp - sometimes sick - observational humour and ear for dialogue that made "Clerks" such an indie gem. Add the cinematic ambition of the risible "Mallrats", and this is a film that's almost perfect.
The premise is intriguing, and Smith's writing ranges from the downright inspired - the interpretation of "Star Wars" as white imperialist propaganda starring a "nubian god" Darth Vader is priceless - to beautifully heartfelt (Holden's rambling confession of love to Alyssa).
Unfortunately Smith doesn't dare to stray too far from the sentiments of his amusingly misogynist bystanders Jay And Silent Bob, ultimately reducing a barbed exploration of sex to a sexist denouement.
But with writing this smart, performed by a cracking cast, "Chasing Amy" still outstrips the current comedy competition, and shows Smith's potential to its fullest.