'Rent': How does the movie measure up?

145623__rent_lNo day but… wait, what year is it? EW’s Whitney Pastorek weighs in on an, ahem, inconsistency in Christopher Columbus’ film adaptation of Rent:

"We’ll skip our rant about Rent‘s mangling of New York City geography (love that Tompkins Square Park subway station), but we gotta ask: Who decided to set the movie in 1989, despite the song lyric about 1991’s Thelma & Louise? There is no future, there is no past…but, dudes, there is IMDb. Look into it."

Okay, so we know Columbus filmed it in San Francisco and all, but it seemed like a lot of people (including EW critic Owen Gleiberman) really liked the movie.

Did you? Could you spend another 525,600 minutes with these characters or is your season of love with Rent over?

addCredit(“Rent: Phil Bray”)


Comments (82 total) Add your comment
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  • dunksahoy

    The film was great. I’d never seen Rent before or heard any songs except for Seasons but I totally loved it.

  • Zinkie

    such an awesome movie! just like dunksahoy i hadnt seen the play, but id heard the soundtrack before, none the less, even with its little flaws, the movie overall was phenominal and ive been recommending it to everyone i know! just, wow, awesome movie!

  • dan

    I’d rather dip my testacles in scalding hot tea than sit through this movie.

  • epsato

    Remember the parody from “Team America”? Sing along if you remember the lyrics: Everyone has Aids! Aids Aids Aids Aids!
    Curse Chicago for bringing about the return of the movie musical. Though I am a little hopeful they’ll redo Pirates of Penzance…

  • mon

    I felt the film lacked a real energy and power that the stage show has and it felt very anticlimactic. I know it’s NOT the stage show but i felt the filmmakers didn’t try to do much in the translation to film. I didn’t like the Seasons of Love at the beginning…started it off kind of like, blah…but don’t get me wrong- I LOVE THE MUSIC, but it should’ve started off with a bang! I think all the actors did their jobs well and sounded great. I’ll still be a Rent-head, but found this kind of disappointing.

  • Simone

    Hideous, as was the extremely cliche and derivative play. Like a bad hybrid of community theatre productions of Hair and Footloose.

  • Mario

    EpSato.. in actuality, you may blame EVITA for bringing back the movie musicals… 1998. Chicago only went into production after the success of EVITA.
    (let the hating begin, bring it on!)

  • Ari

    A new cult movie. Loved reliving the story of rent. I hate how people always says that Rent is about gay people and AIDS. That is a characteristic of the movie but not the focus. The focus is on friendship, love and getting through the rough times. So powerful- everytime. I loved seeing Rent from the new perspective. Three thumbs up.

  • Hampdog

    I am a devout Rent head. The play was really good, I had the fortune of seeing the orignal cast off broadway, so I was real thrilled when I read EW back in March I think it was that the movie version would feature most of the original cast. Upon seeing the movie I loved it, I took some friends who hadn’t seen the play and they were blown away. Then I let them hear the soundtrack from the broadway show and they agree with me. We missed the phone call interludes, especially the one from Alexi Darling. All and all Chris Columbus, and crew and the actors did a great job. I simply loved Rosario Dawson as Mimi, she brought energy to the movie!!!

  • Dave

    Absolutely the WORST movie I have EVER seen

  • Chris

    Um…what do you mean “A lot of people liked the movie?” At Rotten Tomatoes, the film only gets 50% approval and is low enough to qualify as “Rotten.”
    Personally, I’ll wait for “The Producers.” Between singing AIDS victims and movies about Gay Cowboys (any scenes where they’re eating pudding?), it seems like Trey Parker and Matt Stone will have a lot to right about.

  • susanna

    LOVED IT! It is so close to the original stage production. I saw it 3 times opening weekend and took one friend who has never seen it or heard about it and she was BLOWN away. For those who don’t like it, you just don’t get it and that is so sad but to each his own. THERE IS NO DAY BUT TODAY!

  • Eric

    One of my favorite musicals of all time. And I am sorry that so many people hate it and hate musicals but they are very popular. I am personally glad that they are back in fashion because I love going to the movies and am able to sit and watch people sing around a stage. It is so engrossing and amusing. I also love the fact that I can go to the closest movie theater instead of having to go to a city to see a play at a theater. I hope there are more musicals to come.

  • jim

    I was dragged to Chicago and loved it. So, I went into Rent with an open mind. That’ll teach me. Where was Kander and Ebb’s music when I needed it? After awhile, I looked for Velma Kelly to clear out half the cast cause they had it comin.

  • Alexa

    HATED it SO MUCH. I’d go on, but I already wrote a full on pan of it for the college newspaper. Chris Columbus needs to be stopped, and RENTheads need to come back down to earth. It was a mediocre musical to begin with, and it’s an even worse film.
    And I disagree that most critics liked it. I was honestly shocked a disappointed to see that Owen went so positive – and went negative on Goblet of Fire! Most critics, from what I’ve seen, have disliked it immensely. The Boston market, at least, was overwhelmingly negative.
    But, um, Rent has killed the movie musical revival. And I have bad news: The Producers is better, but not much so. After Chicago, it’s all so disappointing :(

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