Rent, a film adaptation of the Broadway musical, follows for one year the events in the lives of seven friends living the Bohemian life in New Yorks East Village. Amateur filmmaker Mark Cohen (Anthony Rapp) is producing a documentary of the lives of his friends. Mimi (Rosario Dawson), a stripper at the Cat Scratch club, is a heavy drug user. Also starring in Marks documentary are an HIV+ professor (Jesse Martin) and an HIV+ cross-dressing street performer (Wilson Jermaine Heredia). The homosexual couple must soon face the harsh realities of their terminal illness. Marks project becomes personal as he watches his roommate (Adam Pascal), an HIV+ guitarist and former junkie, try to overcome his disappointments. If only Mark could complete his project without the complications of the loss of his long-time love interest, Maureen (Idina Menzel), to her new lesbian lover, Joann (Tracie Thoms).
Rent is a social-issue film filled with liberal agendas and tolerance for alternative lifestyles. Other than an entertaining musical number or two, there is little that is redeeming about this film. The main characters are engaged in all sorts of debauchery, from homosexuality and S&M to shooting up heroine and mocking Christianity. This film stands opposed to all things traditional, including religion, corporate enterprise and family. It promotes a message of living for today, regretting nothing and raging against the traditions of our American society. There are multiple instances of homosexual kissing, simulated sexual acts, and promotion of alternative lifestyles. On more than one occasion, characters deride Christianity as well as Judaism. There appear to be no absolutes, no right or wrong, just each persons interpretation of truth. Audiences should be cautioned about the licentious content of this film, which is unsuitable for adults, much less teens.
Many (12) times mild (hell 7, damn 2); strong (-ss 2, b-tch 1)
Many (10) times moderate (p-ss 1); strong (f-word 2, s-word 5, finger gesture 1, p-ssy 1)
Few (2) times moderate (MG 1); strong (GD 1)
Few (2) times mild (man is mugged in alley; riot breaks out at a protest, and people are hit with billy clubs, bottles and punches)
Many times mild (many scenes of sensual and casual kissing between couples including same sex couples, woman dances in provocative manner at topless club); moderate (self-gratification simulated by topless dancer and by a man, two men simulate sodomy during a dance sequence)
Few times mild (near nudity of female dancer in topless club); moderate (woman moons a table of men in a restaurant)
Many times mild (one of the male characters is a homosexual cross-dresser); moderate (same-sex kissing, caressing, hand holding and dancing); strong (lesbian couple is engaged and is given a reception by family and friends for their commitment as life partners, male homosexual couple speak of their union to one another and of covering each other with a thousand kisses, simulated sexual activity between a lesbian couple and simulated sodomy between a gay couple, homosexual relationships are portrayed as being no different than heterosexual and are acceptable to families and friends of the couples)
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog:
Many times mild (several instances of sexual banter between heterosexual couple as well as homosexuals and lesbians); moderate (simulated self-gratification and sodomy as well as simulated lesbian sex)
Several times mild (alcohol consumed by friends as a way of celebrating Christmas; after a protest, friends make demands for beer and wine); strong (woman is portrayed as a junkie; several scenes of man and woman shooting up drugs, snorting cocaine and buying or selling drugs, woman is found nearly dead after a two-week drug binge)
Film is filled with liberal social issues and perceived injustices such as narrow-minded right-wing bigotry, opposition to alternate lifestyles, and homelessness; supportive portrayal of the Bohemian way of life, which is tolerant of all sorts of ideologies, philosophies and alternate lifestyles that support the fight against AIDS, the anti-corporation agenda, and equal rights for same-sex partners
Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)