Rent (film)

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Rent
Rent movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Chris Columbus
Produced by Chris Columbus
Robert De Niro
Jane Rosenthal
Mark Radcliffe
Michael Barnathan
Screenplay by Stephen Chbosky
Based on Rent 
by Jonathan Larson
Starring Rosario Dawson
Taye Diggs
Wilson Jermaine Heredia
Jesse L. Martin
Idina Menzel
Adam Pascal
Anthony Rapp
Tracie Thoms
Music by Jonathan Larson
Rob Cavallo
Doug McKean
Jamie Muhoberac
Tim Pierce
Cinematography Stephen Goldblatt
Edited by Richard Pearson
Production
company
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • November 23, 2005 (2005-11-23)
Running time 135 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million
Box office $31,670,620

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, 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[edit]

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 whose preferred gender pronouns are she, her, and hers, 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 a former drug addict, 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[edit]

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.

Supporting characters

Production[edit]

Rent was filmed in Super 35 mm film format. Some exterior scenes were actually filmed in New York. The Life Cafe scene was shot in a warehouse in Alameda, CA. 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, "Take Me or Leave Me" is filmed inside the famed Filoli House in Woodside, California (San Mateo County, California), Oakland, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Critical reception[edit]

Rent earned mixed reviews, as indicated by its "rotten" 46% 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."[1] On Metacritic, it was given a score of 53 out of 100 based on "mixed or average reviews".[2]

Alternate ending[edit]

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[edit]

  • "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[edit]

Rent (Original motion picture soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by Rent
Released 23 September 2005 (2005-09-23)
Recorded 2004-2005
Genre Musical, Soundtrack
Length 95:00 (2-Disc Movie Soundtrack)
64:38 (Selections Soundtrack)
Producer Rob Cavallo
Singles from Rent (Original motion picture soundtrack)
  1. "Seasons of Love"
    Released: August 2, 2005 (iTunes)
  2. "La Vie Boheme"
    Released: 2005
  3. "La Vie Boheme B"
    Released: 2005
  4. "Finale B"
    Released: 2005
  5. "Take Me Or Leave Me"
    Released: 2005

Rent: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the soundtrack album to the 2005 film of the same name. 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[edit]

Disc 1

  1. "Seasons of Love" - Joanne, Collins & Cast of Rent
  2. "Rent" - Mark, Roger, Collins, Benny & Tenants (including Mimi & 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

Disc 2

  1. "La Vie Bohème" * - Cast of Rent
  2. "I Should Tell You" - Roger & Mimi
  3. "Viva La Vie Bohème" * - 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
  9. "Goodbye Love" * - Mimi, Roger, Benny, Maureen, Joanne, Mark & Collins
  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

Remixes[edit]

In promotion for the film, Warner Brothers had dance remixes of several of the songs commissioned. These were sent to clubs, and were also made of available for purchase on CD and download.

Seasons of Love: The Remixes (CD)[3][edit]

  1. Seasons Of Love (Gomi's Lair Club Mix) - 8:22
  2. Seasons Of Love (Monkey Bars Club Mix) - 7:20
  3. Seasons Of Love (L.E.X. Theatrical Club Mix) - 8:11
  4. Seasons Of Love (Eddie Baez's "Payin' The Rent" Club Mix) - 10:13
  5. Seasons Of Love (Gomi's Lair Radio Edit) - 3:44
  6. Seasons Of Love (Monkey Bars Remix Edit) - 4:48
  7. Seasons Of Love (L.E.X. Theatrical Club Mix Edit) - 4:57
  8. Seasons Of Love (Eddie Baez's "Payin' The Rent" Club Mix Edit) - 4:59

Seasons of Love: The Remixes (Digital Download)[4][edit]

  1. Seasons Of Love (Gomi's Lair Radio Edit) - 3:44
  2. Seasons Of Love (Monkey Bars Remix Edit) - 4:48
  3. Seasons Of Love (L.E.X. Theatrical Club Mix Edit) - 4:57
  4. Seasons Of Love (Eddie Baez's "Payin' The Rent" Club Mix Edit) - 4:59

Take Me or Leave Me: The Remixes (CD)[5][edit]

  1. Take Me Or Leave Me (Tracy Young Radio) - 3:35
  2. Take Me Or Leave Me (Tracy Young Remix) - 8:35
  3. Take Me Or Leave Me (Gabriel D Vine's Big Band Disco Remix) - 6:16
  4. Take Me Or Leave Me (Jackie And Jorio Club Mix) - 7:09
  5. Take Me Or Leave Me (Tracy Young Dub) - 10:09
  6. Out Tonight (Mark!'s Redux Club Remix) - 8:32
  7. Light My Candle (Monkey Bars Remix) - 6:27

Take Me or Leave Me: The Remixes (Digital Download)[6][edit]

  1. Take Me Or Leave Me (Tracy Young Radio) - 3:35
  2. Take Me Or Leave Me (Tracy Young Mixshow) - 6:44
  3. Take Me Or Leave Me (Jackie And Jorio Club Mix) - 7:09
  4. Take Me Or Leave Me (Gabriel D Vine's Big Band Disco Remix) - 6:16
  5. Out Tonight (Mark!'s Redux Club Remix Edit) - 4:55
  6. Light My Candle (Monkey Bars Remix) - 6:27

Musicians[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]