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This movie follows a year in the life of a group of friends. Matt the amateur filmmaker, Roger the failed musician, Mimi the stripper, etc. Based on the smash musical by Jonathan Larson, it deals with several people with AIDS, a jerk landlord who wants his rent, and a weird subplot of an anti-homelessness campaign.

What I Thought

I don't agree with the critics who say this is a worse musical than last year's Phantom of the Opera. It's certainly better than that monstrosity. Rent definitely has its goosebump moments with some great lyrics and music. I can definitely see how the musical became so big.

But that's the problem. You really want to hear ALL the songs live to give it that emotional attachment. In a theater, I got really bored because there's no risk. All the music has been prerecorded in a studio.

Yes, the cast is fantastic, the (prerecorded) music and singing is great, even the acting is OK. But the storyline just doesn't fit in the movie format. It's very hard to adapt a musical to a movie, especially a musical with no speaking lines (everything is sung). Worse is that the movie follows the same thing with a total of only two or three spoken sentences.

I wish I had seen the musical first. I want my live performance goosebumps. If you do too, do not see this movie. And while seeing the movie after still won't be the same, at least it will remind you of those magical goosebumps.

In short: This is one Rent you shouldn't pay.


All photos and text copyright Ryszard Kilarski, unless otherwise noted. Clip art, drawings, paintings are either free domain or copyrighted by the artists.