The Times Doesn’t Get It

As folks may know, one of the movies I’m planning to see is Rent (in fact, I hope to see it Friday). Thus, I’m skimming the reviews for it. I found the following in the review of Rent by Carina Chocano in the LA Times:

“Rent” is commodified faux bohemia on a platter, eliciting the same kind of numbing soul-sadness as children’s beauty pageants, tiny dogs in expensive boots, Mahatma Gandhi in Apple ads. It’s about art, activism and counterculture in the same way that a poster of a kitten hanging from a tree branch (“Hang in There!”) is about commitment and heroic perseverance. It represents everything the people it pretends to stand for hate. And it doesn’t even know it. Watching it feels sort of like watching “Touched by an Angel” with your grandmother and realizing that although you’re clearly looking at the same thing, you’re seeing something entirely different. It’s awkward to behold.

The review concludes:

You know what would be fun? If Columbus had turned the story inside out and made the rapacious developers and marauding executives the heroes of the story. Why not? To the victor goes the official version, etc. At least that might have rung true.

In short, the reviewer is complaining because the producer and director were true to the material, which was a stage version. Never mind that stage musicals radically reworked for movies have typically failed. Sigh. This (among many other reasons) is why I do not subscribe to the Los Angeles Times.