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  •  REVIEW: MISSION

    Mission

    Wish I "Bay," wish I might

    "Mission" follows a frustrated New York witer on a restorative trip to San Francisco, in a film that's not a gripping story but a nice homage to what's great about the city on the bay.

    By JOSHUA TANZER
    Offoffoff.com

    "Mission" is a tale of two cities — New York and, mostly, San Francisco. Our wonderful city doesn't get the best of this comparison. New York is the kind of city where a writer like Marvin (Chris Coburn) can learn that for years his agent hasn't even been reading his stories, much less trying to sell them. So Marvin feels like it's time for a change of locale.

      
    MISSION
    Written and directed by: Loren Marsh.
    Cast: Chris Coburn, Joshua Leonard, Sandrine Holt, Adam Arkin, Bellamy Young, Shane Kramer, Evan Arnold, Kristin Jones, Mari Colabelli, Dawn Walters, Janine Pibal.

    Related links: Official site
    San Francisco has its own peculiarities. When Marvin gets there and arrives at his brother's place, he finds only the brother's roommate (Joshua Leonard, also of "Blair Witch Project") cramming his hand in the toilet in an effort to give himself carpal tunnel syndrome. Well, this is going to be quite a stable writing environment, isn't it?

    No, it isn't. Things go downhill for our writer friend when a tall beauty he meets at a party (Sandrine Holt) steals his novel-in-progress and adds a little creative chaos to his life. Suddenly, he's pulled out of his room and into the local social network.

    The point of this story as it relates to writing is not entirely clear, or maybe just not absorbing enough. It never feels like the stakes are very high — it's more like we're just following our protagonist around on his week off. But what the film communicates very successfully is a simple love for the culture of San Francisco. The city's sense of liberation and its friendly networks of likeable people with easygoing lives help the overearnest Marvin lighten up, and maybe all of us in New York could use a trip like this once in a while as an antidote to taking life too seriously.

    OCTOBER 2, 2001
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK


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