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What is so bad about the RENT movie?

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all that jazz
Broadway Legend
joined:4/5/12
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 06:15pm
I just finished watching the 2008 filmed Broadway performance and while it was very beautiful and moving, I think the movie was slightly better. I found Angel's tragedy to be more moving in the film and the overall story to flow better. Also the musical numbers like the Tango and Today 4 U are in my opinion better staged and more impressive.

I know this is not the most popular film around here, and that it often receives a lot of negative criticism. Why exactly do you think that is?
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Wynbish
Broadway Legend
joined:4/27/12
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 06:25pm
It's unfair to compare the staging of numbers. The Nederlander's stage couldn't hold a big empty ballroom with dozens of Tangoing pairs. Besides, with the absence of Maureen from the stage number, you really first see her when it's time for her spotlight moment, which is true to the character and makes an impact.
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Someone in a Tree2
Broadway Star
joined:10/9/12
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 06:29pm
Two objections many voiced at the time: the broadway cast, however lauded back in 1996, were simply too old to portray 20-year-olds on film.

And more problematic for me, the milieu of the squatters and homeless folks in the east village in the early 90's was a uniquely dark and scary war zone that even the stage show was careful not to romanticize too much. The movie, aiming for the Harry Potter/American Idol audience, simply couldn't maintain a harsh enough tone to match the material. Lofts were showplaces, moonlight was ravishingly lovely, the look of the film was at times as much of a sellout as the one Mark dreaded succumbing to.
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LYLS3637
Leading Actor
joined:5/1/09
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 06:29pm
I don't find it all that bad, particularly because I think the cast is so good (with the exception of Rosario Dawson).

What bugs the hell out of me is the "screenplay." Instead of having the courage to do what Les Mis did, and keep the piece entirely sung through, they decide to speak many of the lyrics-- even ones that rhyme! It sounds ridiculous-- just SING it!

It's definitely a mixed bag, but I do enjoy some of the scenes like the Tango, La Vie Boheme, Jesse L. Martin's performance, and Take Me or Leave Me. But I loathe other ones like Goodbye Love, What You Own, and Over the Moon.
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ClydeBarrow
Broadway Legend
joined:6/20/12
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 06:31pm
What wasn't bad about that movie?

I'll agree with Wynbish that you obviously can't compare the staging of numbers between a stage production and a movie. Obviously a movie is able to be a little more grand than a stage show (unlike Les Mis).

The HUGE added chunk of dialogue where Happy New Year should be was such a slog to get through. Also these people were supposed to be portraying naive 20-somethings in NYC and they looked like haggard old folks.

Plus a lot of the changes to dialogue making it spoken instead of sung was not working for me. I think the movie took itself too seriously.
"Pardon my prior Mcfee slip. I know how to spell her name. I just don't know how to type it." -Talulah
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 06:32pm
I think it's a good film, too.

I watched it again about six month ago, having not seen it for a couple of years.

Once you remove everybody's expectations of what it should, shouldn't, or HAD to be (from artistic to commercial), it's an emotional, personal, "work in progress" about a very transitional time in New York City. I was there and part of that group who knew Jon Larson, and perhaps that makes me biased, but he captured the heart, soul, and most important of all, the "romance" of being young, broke, fearless, and hopeful in NYC, and I think the film captured all of that beautifully.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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Jane2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/13/04
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 06:35pm
Similar to what someone in a tree said, the film had no dark edge, no grit nor grime. It was whitewashed, commercialized, Disneyfied. It reminded me a little of the Hair movie, but I liked the Hair movie.
<-----craves juicy pizza
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Thparkaly
Understudy
joined:9/11/12
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 06:37pm
I'm a huge fan of the 2008 filming. The movie makes me want to gag at times, but I still love certain parts of it. The best part of the movie is definitely Collins and Angel's relationship. It was portrayed beautifully and translated well to the screen.

Certain things didn't translate well, like the awkward voicemail moments where the songs would've been. And I didn't like the whole engagement and portrayal of Take Me Or Leave Me. It just didn't work.

It's not the worst movie musical, but it isn't what it could've been. Not bad, just a disappointment in my opinion.
Currently: Issac - Platonov Upcoming: Beethoven - Dog Sees God Recently: Into The Woods ASM, Spring Awakening Conductor/Piano/Ensemble/u/s Otto. #interlochen
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JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 06:38pm
I think sometimes we accept onstage what seems bizarre, pointless and absurd when put on film.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
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all that jazz
Broadway Legend
joined:4/5/12
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 06:39pm
Yes, I understand that one of the reasons the numbers are better on the film is because of the of the advantages cinema provides, and I'm not expecting an army of tango dancers on a broadway stage, but I still think they could've been a bit more spectacular.


Updated On: 5/16/13 at 06:39 PM
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 06:41pm
Not having Daphne in it (regardless of age or anything else that can be said) is unforgivable. UN FOR GIVABLE.
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lovebwy
Broadway Legend
joined:4/22/12
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 06:42pm
The Rent movie is horrible. There is no life in it. No spark. The 2008 filming is miles better, if you ask me.
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Someone in a Tree2
Broadway Star
joined:10/9/12
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 06:45pm
Jane 2, I never thought of it till you wrote it, but you're right: "It reminded me a little of the Hair movie, but I liked the Hair movie." I adored the movie Hair even though that show didn't feel nearly as filthy (and smelly) as I remember real hippies being back in the late 60's. The movie RENT holds a very similar place when compared to the real scene in Thompkins Sq Park circa 1990.
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Musical Master
Broadway Legend
joined:4/28/13
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 06:50pm
Allow me to list a few things wrong with the movie..

1. The Original Broadway cast is WAY to old to play 20 somethings, they were great in the 90's, but now it's bizarre.

2. The direction by Chris Colombus is very safe and bland, why couldn't Spike Lee, Rob Marshall, or better yet, Baz Lurhmann to direct Rent? Either one of them could've put their own interesting spin on the movie.

3. It doesn't feel gritty as it should. I mean this is freaking 1989-90 NYC were talking about!

4. I really dislike the movie's ending.

That is all...
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Jane2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/13/04
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 06:50pm
Definitely, someone. Filthy is the word, lol. The east village was not squeaky clean. That film didn't remind me of the show RENT at all, so I stopped watching after about 20 minutes. It's one of the worst in my book.
<-----craves juicy pizza
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bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 06:50pm
Everything. I hate Rent in general though.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
all that jazz Profile Photo
all that jazz
Broadway Legend
joined:4/5/12
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 06:56pm
The movie didn't exactly look squeaky clean to me.

I thought the best part about it were the performances.

Completely agree with Best.
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darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 07:03pm
I had not realized in 2005, when the film came out, that the characters were young idealist Bohemians fresh to the city. Honestly, I saw them as hipsters who had made a lifestyle choice to live as experimental artists and fringe dwellers, despite being past the point where they would succeed. Mark Cohen is a Warhol hanger-on in a post-Warhol era.

Such a big deal is made of Mimi being young that I assumed the age disparity between this barely-legal homeless stripper and the jaded guitarist was more than a few years. My read of most characters is mid-thirties, at least in the movie.
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DMC_Patinkin
Understudy
joined:5/6/13
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 07:11pm
I actually love the movie,
Anthony Rapp is amazing as mark and obviously Idina Menzel is a perfect Maureen.
Actually pretty much all of the cast is great and don't think Rent heads do it justice by bashing it simply because it isn't the OBC singing or that its not true to the original production.
Its great.
Let me be your star, now wouldn't that be lovely?
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Wynbish
Broadway Legend
joined:4/27/12
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 08:02pm
Also, there's this




And when did Roger become Jon Bon Jovi wearing The Gap?
all that jazz Profile Photo
all that jazz
Broadway Legend
joined:4/5/12
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 08:09pm
To be fair, he was also wearing a long sleeved buttoned down shirt in the stage version for the finale.
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Wynbish
Broadway Legend
joined:4/27/12
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 08:12pm
And can we agree that the only good thing about Rosario Dawson's Mimi is that it wasn't Vanessa Hudgens' Mimi?
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all that jazz
Broadway Legend
joined:4/5/12
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 08:15pm
I found Vanessa a little too white for Mimi.

What didn't you like about Rosario?
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Matt Rogers
Broadway Star
joined:10/4/04
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 08:16pm
This was on cable a month or so ago, and I could not even wrap my head around what a thudding, ham-handed disaster it was. The kind of movie that is likely to make people hate musicals.
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 08:19pm
I remember going to an early screening of it with Emcee and when the "Gap Commercial" started the audience just burst out laughing.
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all that jazz
Broadway Legend
joined:4/5/12
What is so bad about the RENT movie?
Posted: 5/16/13 at 08:25pm
Did anyone here actually lived in the Alphabet City?

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