Writer-director Kevin Smith took on the increasingly rocky terrain of 1990s love and desire in the low budget, ultra-contemporary romantic comedy Chasing Amy (1997), the final film in his "New Jersey trilogy." In a twist on the conventional boy-meets-girl love story, the unexpected relationship between heterosexual Holden and lesbian Alyssa (with Holden's best buddy Banky a jealous third wheel) becomes an extended, offbeat conversation on how love and sexuality transcend easy definitions and categories through their intrinsic unpredictability. Smith's casually profane, humorously savvy dialogue taps profound sentiments without becoming mired in emotional treacle, even when his characters edge toward long-windedness. Ben Affleck's performance as Holden was one of several in 1997 that earned him the label "rising star" -- even if Jason Lee's Banky had some of the best lines -- while Joey Lauren Adams garnered a Golden Globe nomination for her mercurial Alyssa. Beginning with its debut at the Sundance Film Festival, Chasing Amy drew critical and box office kudos, restoring Smith to indie film grace after the failure of Mallrats (1995).