I Don’t Own Emotion – I Rent

This afternoon, taking advantage of NSS&F being at her temple retreat, we went to go see Rent.

Capsule Review: Go see it!

For those who aren’t familiar, Rent is a retelling of LaBoheme reset in New York City in the late 1990s (changing the date to 1989 was a major mistake the movie made). It tells the story of a group of friends who love, break apart, come together, and generally suffer life. It was a hit on Broadway, with words, music, and lyrics by the late Jonathan Larson, who died the day it opened on Broadway. The movie version reunited all but two of the Broadway cast, with Rosario Dawson (of Star Trek: Voyager) and Tracie Thomas taking the missing members places. Reviews have been at the “B” level, mostly because the reviewers are folks unfamiliar with the Broadway work, and thus they spend more time focusing on any underlying flaws in the story.

Some pocket observations:

  • A major mistake was changing the year. They moved it obstensibly to 1989/1990, I think so they could use Super-8 film. The original used video. They should have stuck with the original dates (1998ish, making the line in a song “at the end of the millenium” make sense).
  • This movie shows the power of cinematography. The moving power of the picture permited some songs to be elided, with the images being captured (much better) visually. Very, very powerful.
  • It was interesting seeing how once unknowns have become famous, such as Taye Diggs, Idena Menzel, and Jessie L. Martin.
  • With respect to Jessie L. Martin, it would have been a neat in-joke (had he still be alive) to have Jerry Orbach as a cameo as an NYC cop. (My wife suggested this).
  • I notice in the credits that Randy Graff played the mother of Idena Menzel’s character.

In short, for those familiar with the musical… go see the movie. Even though there are some changes here and there, it is worth it. For those unfamiliar with the musical… go see the show. You’re in for a powerful movie.

As for the previews. There was a preview for “The Producers”. Looks good, but why aren’t they giving the release date or advertising it more. I think it is out in December. The upcoming Jennifer Anniston movie looks cute. Memoir of a Geisha looks powerful, but not for me. There was a dance movie with Antonio Bandaras, which didn’t catch me, and some other preview I can’t even remember.

Now to go pick up my daughter and finish packing for my trip to Tucson tomorrow.