"We're always in the
midst of a chase.

Going after a dream...

Chasing a fantasy...

And making it a

This is what I write

Life is about the chase."

~ Rachelle

Rachelle Chase and Benjamin BrattIn 2008, I unexpectedly ran into actor Benjamin Bratt (see “Unknowingly Starstruck by Benjamin Bratt” ) at L’s Caffe.

Well, it happened again last Friday night.

This time, I accidentally ran into him at 1:00 a.m. on Howard Street, where he was chatting with a producer after the opening of the movie, La Mission, in which he starred and his brother, Peter Bratt, directed. And, this time, I had an opportunity to chat and get a photo with him. :-)


Want to win FREE tickets to see La Mission?

Leave a comment and you’ll automatically be entered in a drawing for two free tickets!

In, La Mission, Benjamin Bratt plays Che Rivera, a man whose violent temper and alcoholism resurfaces and nearly destroys him when he finds out that the son he’s proudly and single-handedly raised after his wife’s death, is gay.

I loved this movie, for several reasons (not necessarily in the following order).

(1) To me, La Mission, is a “male journey” film. And what better way to send Che on his journey than by forcing him to deal with homosexuality – the antithesis of masculinity to a man who seems to value masculinity above all else – in someone he loves. But the harder he clings to his beliefs about masculinity, the more he loses: his son, the budding romance between him and his neighbor, Lena, his grip on his alcohol recovery, and himself. Which means he’s forced to look at himself and his actions – and make some changes if he hopes to recapture his son, his self, and his life.

(2) Che’s character. What makes Che’s character work for me is his complexity. At face value, he’s machismo personified. But underneath every outward display of machismo, his actions, body language, voice, etc. express his true feelings and the fact that he cares, oftentimes deeply, even if he can’t express what he feels or if he expresses his feelings in ways that give the impression that he could care less.

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(3) The romance. The romance between Che and Lena is great. The sexual awareness, the nervousness, and the sexual tension between them is at times sweet (remember your first date with someone you liked a lot?), at other times erotic (remember when you were super attracted to someone but tried to act normal?), and at other times sensual (remember when you made love to someone slowly, taking time to explore every inch of their body?). My only complaint is that there wasn’t enough of the romance. Encore, encore!

(4) The ways of the alpha male. As a romance author who loves alpha male heroes and finds the way men interact with others intriguing, I loved the male bonding scenes because they seemed so … well … male.

For example, there’s a scene where, shortly after Che finds out his son is gay, his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor, Dee, shows up at Che’s job. He asks Che if Che’s had a drink.

“Nah, I didn’t,” says Che.


“That it?” Che sounds irritated and impatient.

Dee pauses, then he says. “Yeah, mother f**ker. Sh*t. I gotta work.”

Dee cares. Che cares. And they show it in that indirect and mysterious male way.

Then, there’s a scene where Che’s friends are playing basketball and he joins them for the first time since they’d pulled him off of his son, whom he was beating.

La Mission Poster

Che walks up to the friend he’d threatened to hurt if he didn’t get away from him and says, “Yo man, are we cool?”

“You know it’s all good,” says his friend.

And they do the guy-handshake-one-armed-hug-and-slap-on-the-back thing, then play ball. Apology made and accepted, in that oh-so-male way.

But it’s not just with the guys. One time, that male communication style is obvious in Che’s interaction with Lena, when she prepares to tell him how much his son needs him.

“Can I say something to you?” Lena asks.

“It’s a free country,” Che says with shrug before he looks away as if he has no interest whatsoever in what she has to say. And yet he remains on the stairs, waiting for her to speak.

Haven’t we seen similar examples of this behavior in romance novels?

(5) Latino culture. I love the fact that this movie was shot in The Mission District of San Francisco, where I live, and that Latinos from the neighborhood appeared in the film. And the fact that it was an independent film produced by those familiar with the culture, insured it did not exploit the culture. For example, gang activity was woven into the story as a facet of life, not as THE way of life of most residents. And Che’s reaction to Jes’s homosexuality seemed realistic, as opposed to the instant acceptance of a Hollywood movie.

(6) Benjamin Bratt is H.O.T. In every scene. Need I say more?

So, highly recommend this movie and have already seen it twice – and I plan to show my support by seeing it again. For, the better the movie does, the more theaters it will appear in.

Want to see it for FREE? If so, leave a comment here, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for two FREE tickets to see it at a theatre near you!

And, for more information, don’t forget to check out www.lamissionthemovie.com.

10 Responses to “Benjamin Bratt and La Mission”
  1. Leigh Michaels says:

    Okay, this isn’t a movie which would normally have caught my eye, but you make it sound fascinating. Let me know when you start work as B Bratt’s publicist… :-)

  2. Francesca says:

    What you said about “La Mission” serves to convince me that this is definitely a movie I want to see.

  3. Calista Fox says:

    Fantastic review of La Mission by movie critic Rachelle Chase! LOL Is there no end to your talents? I’m so thrilled you got to see the movie and run into BB again. He is quite the hottie!

  4. CongenialityGuy.com · “La Mission” in the News says:

    [...] Benjamin Bratt and La Mission [...]

  5. Rachelle Chase says:

    Leigh and Calista, PLEASE don’t give me any new career ideas. :-D

    Francesca, if you enjoyed the trailer, I think you’ll really enjoy the movie.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Teresa says:

    My husband already mentioned his interest in the movie because he too is #4: alpha male… I think my reason is your #6 ;^)

  7. Teresa W. says:

    This is the first time hearing about this one, sounds good! I also think Benjamin is a fine actor and very HOT!!!!

  8. Peggy says:

    I really would like to see the movie. U made it seem interesting, hope I win. I never win or have won any thing in my life.

  9. Rachelle Chase says:

    Teresa L, LOL. Well, truth be told, that did have a teeny tiny influence on my decision to see the movie. :-)

    Teresa W, OMG, I am so embarrassed. I got so caught up in the hot factor, I forgot to add he’s a great actor. Which he is. I don’t enjoy movies with great-looking actors who can’t act. Thanks for stating the obvious.

    Peggy, alas, you sound like me. :-( There’s a “Dream House Raffle” in SF underway right now for a $3 million home, which my friend keeps telling me to enter. But, since I’ve never won the lottery the few times I’ve bought a ticket … :-( Here’s wishing you luck!

  10. Rachelle Chase says:

    Francesca, you’re the winner! Email me and I’ll get you your tickets via Fandango in time for you to see it this weekend. :-)

    Peggy, since you’ve never won anything in your life, email me and I will send you a “bonus” gift. :-)

    Thanks, everyone, for stopping by!

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