Rent is a musical that many viewers have found touching, myself included.
Mark Cohen and Roger Davis (Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal) are roommates in New York in an area that’s not exactly up-to-date. Mark is a filmmaker and Roger a musician, but neither of them has been able to find work and they’re behind on rent, as are many in the area. Add to it that Roger has AIDS and you’ve got some hard times. Mark and Roger, along with the rest of the building, are being told they need to leave by former friend Benjamin Coffin III (Taye Diggs) because he wants to turn the building into something that can make profit and bring some life back to the area. He even offers Mark and Roger jobs doing what they love, but they refuse the job offers and refuse to leave, feeling like they’d be selling out their art if they accepted his offer.
On a cold night Roger meets one of the neighbors above them, Mimi Marquez (Rosario Dawson) when she asks him to light her candle (it’s debatable what the intended meaning is for many viewers.) and they start flirting back and forth and seeing each other.
While that’s happening Mark is dealing with his ex, Maureen Johnson (Idina Menzel) asking him for help with her performance art and because he’s Mr. Nice Guy he goes but does not find Maureen. He does, however, find Maureen’s girlfriend Joanne Jefferson (Tracie Thoms) and their initial meeting is not smooth sailing and not just because Joanne is meeting Mark for the first time, but a number of reasons (including the reason Maureen and Mark broke up).
I can’t leave out Tom Collins and Angel Dumott Schunard (Jesse L. Martin and Wilson Jermaine Heredia)! Tom is an old friend and former roommate of Mark and Roger’s and is attacked on his way to visit the guys. Angel finds Tom beaten nearly to death and bandages his wounds.
There’s a lot more I could say about this movie, but why spoil the fun?
Heather: A friend and I watched this movie years ago and it hooked us. Every now and then we still pick a day to hang out just to watch the movie and laugh ourselves silly while singing the songs. Sometimes one of us will ask the other to help do something like clean and we’ll have it playing in the background because the music varies in tempo enough that you get a workout while dancing to it and a cool-down.