Rent


Rent Information

Rent is a 2005 American musical drama film directed by Chris Columbus. It is an adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name, in turn based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La bohème. The film depicts the lives of several Bohemians and their struggles with sexuality, cross-dressing, drugs, paying their rent, and life under the shadow of AIDS. It takes place in the East Village of New York City from 1989 to 1990. The film features six of the original Broadway cast members reprising their roles.

Plot

On Christmas Eve, 1989, aspiring filmmaker Mark Cohen, and his roommate, Roger Davis, learn that the rent previously waived by their former friend and landlord, Benjamin "Benny" Coffin III, is due. At the same time, their former roommate Tom Collins shows up and gets mugged in an alleyway. Meanwhile, Mark and Roger meet with Benny, who tells them he plans to evict the homeless from the nearby lot and build a cyber studio in its place. He offers them free rent if they can get Maureen, Mark's ex-girlfriend, to cancel her protest against his plans, but they refuse.

A street drummer and drag queen, Angel, finds Collins in the alleyway and helps him up. They bond once they find out they both have AIDS. Later that night, Roger, who is HIV-positive and an ex-druggie, tries to compose his one last great song. He's then visited by his downstairs neighbor, Mimi, an exotic dancer and heroin addict, who flirts with him.

The next day, Mark and Roger are visited by Collins and Angel, who arrive bearing gifts. They invite Mark and Roger to attend Life Support, a local AIDS support group meeting. Roger turns them down, while Mark heads off to help fix Maureen's sound equipment for the protest. He runs into Joanne, Maureen's new girlfriend, who bonds with him as they discuss Maureen's promiscuity. Afterwards, Mark arrives, slightly late, at the Life Support meeting.

That night, after Mimi finishes dancing, she returns home and flirts with Roger. Roger, whose ex-girlfriend killed herself after learning she was HIV-positive, rebukes her advances and throws her out. The next day, he arrives at another Life Support meeting, much to the joy of his friends. Later, they attend Maureen's protest, while Benny has the police on standby. A riot ensues, which Mark films and sells the footage to Buzzline, a local news program. At the Life Cafe after the show, Benny criticizes the groups' Bohemian lifestyle, to which they respond with a joyous celebration of it. During the commotion, Mimi and Roger both learn that the other is HIV-positive. Roger and Mimi express their interest in each other outside the cafe.

On New Years Day, the group finds that Benny has had them padlocked from their apartment, but Angel solves the problem by breaking the lock with a garbage can. To support himself, Mark takes a job at Buzzline. After another fight, Maureen proposes to Joanne; the relationship quickly ends when Maureen flirts with another woman at the commitment ceremony. After being persuaded by Mimi, his ex-girlfriend, Benny gives the group back their apartment. Roger quickly grows distrustful of Mimi, and their relationship ends. Meanwhile, Angel's condition gets worse and she dies in Collins' arms. At Angel's funeral, the group goes their separate ways after a bitter argument.

Roger sells his guitar, buys a car, and moves to Santa Fe. He returns once he realizes he still loves Mimi. Meanwhile, Mark quits his job at Buzzline to pursue his own film. On Christmas Eve, 1990, Mark and Roger reunite with Collins, who reveals he has reprogrammed an ATM to dispense cash when someone inputs A-N-G-E-L. However, Joanne and Maureen find Mimi on the streets, near death. Mimi and Roger reconcile and he sings the song he has written over the past year. Mimi appears to die, but suddenly awakens. She tells them that she was heading to the light, but Angel told her to go back. As Mark's documentary is shown for the first time, the friends all reaffirm that there is "no day but today".

Cast

All but two principal members of the original Broadway cast reprised their roles on film. Director Columbus got the idea to give the original cast first dibs on the roles when he talked to Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, and Idina Menzel about the musical and felt that they all still looked the same as when they premiered the show in 1996. Only Daphne Rubin-Vega and Fredi Walker, the original Mimi and Joanne, were not cast in the film. Rubin-Vega was seven months pregnant at the time of filming and was not able to reprise her role as Mimi. Fredi Walker was offered the role, but said that she felt too old for it; however, she insisted that a woman of African-American descent should play the part of Joanne.

  • Anthony Rapp as Mark Cohen, a struggling Jewish filmmaker and Roger's roommate. He was dumped by Maureen for Joanne.
  • Adam Pascal as Roger Davis, an HIV-positive ex-junkie rock musician; Mimi's love interest.
  • Rosario Dawson as Mimi Marquez, an HIV-positive heroin junkie and nightclub dancer; Roger's love interest.
  • Jesse L. Martin as Tom Collins, a gay, HIV-positive anarchist and philosophy professor; former roommate of Maureen, Roger, Mark, and Benny; Angel's love interest.
  • Wilson Jermaine Heredia as Angel Dumott Schunard, a gay drag queen street musician who is suffering from AIDS; Collins' love interest.
  • Idina Menzel as Maureen Johnson, a bisexual performance artist and Joanne's girlfriend; Mark's ex-girlfriend.
  • Tracie Thoms as Joanne Jefferson, a lesbian Harvard-graduate lawyer and Maureen's love interest.
  • Taye Diggs as Benjamin "Benny" Coffin III, Mark, Roger, and Mimi's apartment building landlord and ex-roommate of Collins, Roger, Maureen, and Mark.
Supporting characters
  • Mackenzie Firgens as April Ericsson, Roger's late girlfriend
  • Sarah Silverman as Alexi Darling, head of Buzzline
  • Jennifer Siebel as Alexi Darling's receptionist
  • Aaron Lohr and Wayne Wilcox as Steve and Gordon, life support members
  • Daryl Edwards and Anna Deavere Smith as Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson, Joanne's parents
  • Kevin Blackton and Bettina Devin as Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, Maureen's parents
  • Joel Swetow and Randy Graff as Mr. and Mrs. Cohen, Mark's parents
  • Chris Columbus (director cameo) as Angry man in car

Production

Rent was filmed in Super 35 mm film format. One scene was actually filmed in New York, the Life Cafe scene. The New York East Village was a backlot set at Warner Bros; the interior and remaining exterior shots were filmed in San Francisco. Some additional exterior scenes where filmed in San Diego, the "Take me or Leave me" song is filmed inside the famed Filoli House in Woodside, California (San Mateo County, California), Oakland, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Critical reception

Rent earned mixed reviews, as indicated by its "rotten" 47% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus of the reviewers featured on Rotten Tomatoes is "Fans of the stage musical may forgive its flaws, but weak direction, inescapable staginess and an irritating faux-boho pretension prevent the film from truly connecting on screen."

It was the third-highest grossing opening weekend for a Broadway musical adaptation, surpassed by the 2007 version of the film Hairspray and The Phantom of the Opera.

The film was nominated for a number of awards, including a GLAAD Media Award for Best Picture Musical/Comedy. Rosario Dawson was also nominated for, and won, a Satellite Award for Most Outstanding Actress, and Christopher Columbus for Most Outstanding Director. Additionally, Rosario Dawson was nominated for Best Actress by the NAACP Image Awards.

Alternate ending

In addition to four deleted scenes, the DVD release includes an alternate ending, showing all the main characters except Angel standing in the positions where they were during the "Seasons of Love" opening, all standing in a line of spotlights, with Angel's spot empty. Later in the scene, she enters from the side and walks down the line to take her place, stopping as she passes Collins to take his hand for a moment. Although this tableau is used in the finale of the musical, it was dropped from the film for fear that audiences may have wondered why Angel had returned or why the characters were lined up on stage again. In the commentary, Chris Columbus adds that he "didn't want audiences to think that everything was okay and Angel was alive again."

Differences between the stage and film versions

  • "Goodbye Love" was filmed in its entirety, but the second half was cut from the film because Columbus considered it somewhat of an emotional overload, as he states on the DVD's commentary track.
  • The film leaves ambiguous the death of Roger's girlfriend April, who dies before Rent begins. In the film, she is seen reading a doctor's report that she is HIV positive; it is stated that she has died, but nothing more is said. In the stage version, Mark explicitly states that April committed suicide by slitting her wrists in the bathroom, and Roger found out about his HIV in the suicide note. Chris Columbus states in the DVD commentary that a scene featuring April lying in the bathtub with her wrists slit was filmed, but cut because he thought it would be "too much."

Soundtrack

RENT: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is an album containing 28 tracks of music from the film Rent, an adaptation of the Broadway musical. The two-disc soundtrack, containing 28 tracks, was originally packaged in eight different slipcovers, each featuring one of the eight most prominent characters in the film.

Track listing

Disc 1

  1. "Seasons of Love" (#33 US) - Joanne, Collins & Cast of RENT
  2. "Rent" - Mark, Roger, Collins, Benny & Tenants (including Mimi and Angel)
  3. "You'll See" - Roger, Mark & Benny
  4. "One Song Glory" - Roger
  5. "Light My Candle" - Roger & Mimi
  6. "Today 4 U" - Angel
  7. "Tango: Maureen" - Joanne and Mark
  8. "Life Support" - Gordon, Roger, Steve & Cast of RENT
  9. "Out Tonight" - Mimi
  10. "Another Day" - Roger, Mimi, Collins, Mark & Angel
  11. "Will I?" - Steve, Gordon & Cast of RENT
  12. "Santa Fe" - Collins & Company
  13. "I'll Cover You" - Angel & Collins
  14. "Over The Moon" - Maureen (sung live on film by Idina Menzel [Maureen] and is a different take than was used in the movie.)

Disc 2

  1. "La Vie Bohème" * - Cast of RENT
  2. "I Should Tell You" - Roger & Mimi
  3. "La Vie Bohème B" * - Mimi, Mark, Angel, Collins, Maureen, Joanne & Roger
  4. "Seasons of Love B" - Cast of RENT
  5. "Take Me Or Leave Me" - Maureen & Joanne
  6. "Without You" - Mimi & Roger
  7. "I'll Cover You (Reprise)" - Collins & Company
  8. "Halloween" - Mark (cut from the film; included on the DVD as a deleted scene)
  9. "Goodbye Love" * - Mimi, Roger, Benny, Maureen, Joanne, Mark & Collins (Cut from film after the line 'I can't believe this is goodbye'; included on the DVD as a deleted scene)
  10. "What You Own" - Roger & Mark
  11. "Finale A" - Mimi & Roger
  12. "Your Eyes" - Roger
  13. "Finale B* " - Cast of RENT
  14. "Love Heals" - Cast of RENT (bonus track on the soundtrack, which did not appear in the film, was written by Larson for the organization Friends Indeed)

Single Track Listing

Seasons of Love

  1. Seasons of Love (Gomi's Liar Radio Mix)
  2. Seasons of Love (Monkey Bars Remix)
  3. Seasons of Love (L.E.X. Theatrical Club Mix)
  4. Seasons of Love (Eddie Baez's "Payin' the Rent" Club Mix)
  5. Seasons of Love (Gomi's Lair Radio Edit)
  6. Seasons of Love (Monkey Bars Remix Edit)
  7. Seasons of Love (L.E.X. Theatrical Club Mix Edit)
  8. Seasons of Love (Eddie Baez's Payin' The Rent Club Mix Edit)
  9. Endang Soekamti (Asu Tenanan)

Take Me or Leave Me

  1. Take Me or Leave Me (Tracy Young Radio)
  2. Take Me or Leave Me (Tracy Young Remix)
  3. Take Me or Leave Me (Gabriel D Vine's Big Band Disco Remix)
  4. Take Me or Leave Me (Jackie And Jorio Club Mix)
  5. Take Me or Leave Me (Tracy Young Dub)
  6. Out Tonight (Mark!'s Redux Club Remix) [Edit on the Digital Download Single]
  7. Light My Candle (Monkey Bars Remix)

Musicians

  • Tim Pierce (acoustic guitar, electric guitar)
  • Jamie Muhoberac (piano, organ, keyboards)
  • Paul Bushnell (bass guitar)
  • Dorian Crozier (drums, percussion, programming)
  • Tim Weil (piano)
  • Gregory Curtis (organ)
  • Greg Suran (acoustic guitar, electric guitar)
  • Suzie Katayama (cello, accordion)

Recording Engineers

  • Doug McKean (Chief Engineer)
  • Charles Williams (Assistant Engineer)
  • Elan Trujillo (Assistant Engineer)



This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Rent_%28film%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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