We saw the movie Rent last night. It was amazing. It was very true to the stage version of the musical. The modified soundtrack was very effective in telling the gripping story and the mostly original cast performed well under the close eye of the camera. After seeing it dozens of times as an usher in SF, I was curious to see how it compared. It did not disappoint.
As we left the theatre, I thought about how it affected me on varying levels. Primarily, the show itself is such high quality. That alone is worth the price of admission. It is based on my favorite opera, La Boheme, so it wins automatically in my book. On top of that, the story focuses on a tightly knit group of young artistic city folk struggling to create an eccentric life to be proud of. I, along with countless others who happened to be doing exactly that when the musical was in it's prime, identify with the characters strongly. Even if it was only a romantic attachment to to the idea of living in an industrial loft, it still was (and still is) just that: romantic.
There is also the element of the friend family. As forces pull in all different diections, the characters rely on the connection of the close group to hold steady. The steadyness is somewhat of a religion. And, just like in life, the connection does not always hold as steady as we'd like.
It was also great to see our friend Mackenzie in the movie. Ironically, I met her when we were both ushers for Rent. She plays April, Roger's ex-girlfriend.
The movie made me miss city life and my friends. I'm glad neither are going anywhere.
See the movie!