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RENT Review

by Stephanie Casher on March 20, 2006

“525,600 minutes
How do you measure a year in a life?

How about love?”

Wow. I knew when I found myself replaying the opening scene of the movie over and over again that I was going to love this flick. Wow. Love is an understatement. This movie has easily coasted into my top 5 all-time favorite films, the kind of movie I could watch every day. That was the most satisfying two hours I’ve had in a while.

I’ve always had a love for musical theatre. I was exposed to it very early on when my 3rd grade teacher Ms. Vidulich scored our class front row seats to a showing of CATS. In the 8th grade I saw Starlight Express in London (a musical performed entirely on roller skates, amazing). Cried my eyes out during Les Miserables when I was fifteen, awed by The Phantom of the Opera a year later. San Mateo High also had a large performing arts department, and we were treated to several high-quality productions every year. SMHS’s Cabaret is one of the best renditions I’ve seen. I am a sucker for a great musical. And the Broadway version of Into the Woods (with Bernadette Peters as the witch) is the funniest play Ever.

My love of musical theatre influences my taste in movies as well. Also ranking high on my list are Grease AND Grease 2. A Chorus Line. Evita. And one of my favorite 80’s movies is Sing, a movie about a high school musical.

But back to RENT. A touching musical about love, friendship, following your dreams, standing up for what you believe in, and fighting against the Man, all while dealing with the very real-life problems of poverty, drug addiction and AIDS. It resonated very strongly with me, not just because it centered around the starving artist community, lol, but because I can identify with coming to that stage in life where your friends become your primary family… And how those bonds built in the trenches, and those people you leaned on while you were figuring it all out, hold pieces of your soul forever…

“I trust my soul…”

The cast had the most amazing chemistry – it was no surprise when I found out that all but two were from the original Broadway cast. It showed. I fell in love with all of them. Tango Maureen was hilarious. I did not think I could love Jesse L. Martin more than I did when he was on Ally McBeal but I do. And Rosario Dawson is the hottest stripper I’ve ever seen. Me-ow. La Vie Boheme!!!

“Hey Artist, you got a dollar? Didn’t think so.”

Then today, I watched the deleted scenes and found the Alternate Ending. Oh my God did the Directors mess up. I watched the Alternate Ending over a dozen times and cried every time. I do not agree with their explanation for changing it – they should have left it alone. Click here to watch the alternate ending on youtube.com.

I die, without you… I die, without you…”

This movie did something to me I could not have anticipated… It actually moved me. Touched my soul. I can’t guarantee it will have the same effect on others, but I definitely recommend checking out this movie if you can appreciate a good song and a good story…

There’s Only Now
There’s Only Here
Give In To Love
Or Live In Fear
No Other Path
No Other Way
No Day But Today

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