Two years later, Adams appeared in Mallrats, written andDIRECTED by Kevin Smith. The two started dating during the film's post-production, and their relationship provided the inspiration for Smith's next film, Chasing Amy. Meanwhile, in 1996, while Smith was finalizing the script for Chasing Amy, Adams was cast in the slapstick comedy Bio-Dome, which was directed by Jason Bloom. Adams played the role of Monique, Bud Macintosh's (Pauly Shore) girlfriend.
In 1997's Chasing Amy, Adams played the lead role of Alyssa Jones, a lesbian who falls in love with a man, played by Ben Affleck. Later, Smith would describe CHASINGAmy as a "sort of penance/valentine" and a "thank-you homage" to Adams. In addition to her acting work on the film, Adams wrote and performed the song "Alive" for the film's soundtrack.
Some speculation has been made that her high-pitched speaking voice has hampered her chances of Hollywood stardom, to which she has commented: "It's not a normal voice. It doesn't fit into people's preconceptions about what a woman's voice should sound like. My mom doesn't think I have an unusual voice, though. I'm sureIT'S HELPED me get some roles. But CHASINGAmy I almost didn't get. There was concern the voice would grate on some people, which some critics said it did." One film critic referred to her voice as a "sex-kitten-on-helium". Another said that whether viewers loved it or hated it, her voice had "the potential to hypnotize."