I watched “Chasing Amy” again this weekend, and I’ve finally decided why I like this movie. It presents the complicated issues of human sexuality in a way that most other movies and literature tend to shy away from. By unflinchingly delving into the world of ménage à trois, “Chasing Amy” is able to discuss, in a completely secular manner, the merits and demerits of non–monogamous sex, and whether it will actually make you happy in the long-run.
There are plenty of movies about love and romance, but they tend to treat the sex act as a “black box”, with little discussion. So, for instance, the “love scene” in a non-porno will tend to go something like: “He said: ‘Darling I love you and I must have you!’ then he grabbed her and pulled her close. She could feel his pulsing manhood through her thin cotton sundress, and she groaned. ‘Oh, my love, take me!’ He threw her to the bed…”, and then the scene will end, or it will cut to a post-coital cigarette. Any later discussion of the sex act by the characters will then be in euphemistic terms, and will be incidental to the love and romance aspects of the relationship, which is emphasized over the sex. (Not that love and romance aren’t important, but they aren’t the whole picture when it comes to a normal relationship between a man and a woman.)
“Chasing Amy” isn’t any more explicit when it comes to the sex scenes, but the entire movie is basically about sex and sexuality. A lot of the dialogue winds up being about sex. The main conflict after Holden and Alyssa get together is Holden’s inability to deal with Alyssa’s unorthodox sexual past. In the end, Alyssa basically says that her sexual history led her to the conclusion that a “vanilla” monogamous relationship with Holden was ideal. At some point she says something to the effect of “I found you, and I was finally satiated,” and that she never found what she was looking for outside of monogamy.