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Cameron H.

Musical Mondays-Week 8-Rent

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604,800 seconds. How do you measure, measure a week?

 

To talk about...

 

RentMoviePoster1.jpg

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I'll just start off by saying, after watching the movie, I couldn't understand why some people take issue with it. I liked it just fine. And then I watched the Broadway version and I was like, "Aha..."

 

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604,800 seconds. How do you measure, measure a week?

 

To talk about...

 

RentMoviePoster1.jpg

Thats-Gold-Jerry-Gold-Kenny-Bania-Quote-Gif-On-Seinfeld.gif

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I'll just start off by saying, after watching the movie, I couldn't understand why some people take issue with it. I liked it just fine. And then I watched the Broadway version and I was like, "Aha..."

I think that will probably be my reaction as well. I let life intervene so I haven't watched Broadway yet. (On the schedule for tonight hopefully.) I did read that Benny is a real dick and that's why the Alphabet City/Bohemian/Rentizens are rebelling.

 

On another note...

 

Maureen was two-timing Mark AND Joanne! She was married to Benny all along!

 

From Idina Menzel's biography...

She married Taye Diggs, who first played the role of Benny (and who also played him in the film version), in 2003. In March 2009 the couple announced they were expecting their first child together. Their son, Walker Nathaniel Diggs, was born on September 2nd of that year. In 2014, the couple announced their separation.

 

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Is this really in the stage version? I don't remember her explaining why she picked cows as the instrument of liberation. (Unless she's secretly Hindu.)

 

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Is this really in the stage version? I don't remember her explaining why she picked cows as the instrument of liberation. (Unless she's secretly Hindu.)

 

tumblr_nhj4igKLrq1sks9qdo1_500.gif

 

It is, but I'll be honest, I checked out both in the movie and stage version. That crap was obnoxious! Although, purposefully so. So...congrats?

 

Maybe she's saying we're all just bovine, but there's beauty and strength in that and we can still rebel against the oppressive ranchers...

 

Or something...

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I'll just start off by saying, after watching the movie, I couldn't understand why some people take issue with it. I liked it just fine. And then I watched the Broadway version and I was like, "Aha..."

 

aha-aha-o.gif

I had the opposite reaction, and I'll try to get into it more later when I have more time, but I thought a lot of things fell really flat in the movie. There are things I truly love about it (e.g., Tom and Angel, "The Tango Maureen"), but there were many others that just felt off. It wasn't necessarily that those things were bad; it was just that they weren't quite GOOD. Then I watched the stage version (if anyone else hasn't seen it, it's available for free in its entirety on YouTube), and it solved every single problem I had except one. The only thing I didn't like better in the stage version was Angel and Tom. I think Jesse L Martin and Wilson Jermaine Heredia are so fucking perfect (especially the latter) that seeing others playing them really threw me for a loop.

 

The one thing that still made me crazy, though, is super small and stupid, but I'm going to bring it up anyway. So, this musical takes place over the course of a single year. They start on Christmas Eve 1989 and end on Christmas Eve 1990 (the stage version didn't give dates that I remember, but since we're talking about the movie, they definitely say the years). No one knew Angel until Tom brought her into the mix. He has to introduce her to Mark and Roger when he finally makes it to their place, and one would assume that if she had known Maureen, she would have known Mark and Roger, too, given how often all these people are together.

 

At Angel's funeral, Maureen says, "so much more original then any of us...you'd find an old table cloth on the street and make a dress...and next year, sure enough - they'd be mass producing them at the Gap."

 

How the fuck would she know? She met Angel one year earlier. Is this meant to be hyperbole? Or is it just because Maureen is full of shit in general? Because she clearly didn't know Angel long enough to see this happen.

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It is, but I'll be honest, I checked out both in the movie and stage version. That crap was obnoxious! Although, purposefully so. So...congrats?

 

Maybe she's saying we're all just bovine, but there's beauty and strength in that and we can still rebel against the oppressive ranchers...

 

Or something...

I hate to think what would happen if she found out she's wrong.

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I had the opposite reaction, and I'll try to get into it more later when I have more time, but I thought a lot of things fell really flat in the movie. There are things I truly love about it (e.g., Tom and Angel, "The Tango Maureen"), but there were many others that just felt off. It wasn't necessarily that those things were bad; it was just that they weren't quite GOOD. Then I watched the stage version (if anyone else hasn't seen it, it's available for free in its entirety on YouTube), and it solved every single problem I had except one. The only thing I didn't like better in the stage version was Angel and Tom. I think Jesse L Martin and Wilson Jermaine Heredia are so fucking perfect (especially the latter) that seeing others playing them really threw me for a loop.

 

The one thing that still made me crazy, though, is super small and stupid, but I'm going to bring it up anyway. So, this musical takes place over the course of a single year. They start on Christmas Eve 1989 and end on Christmas Eve 1990 (the stage version didn't give dates that I remember, but since we're talking about the movie, they definitely say the years). No one knew Angel until Tom brought her into the mix. He has to introduce her to Mark and Roger when he finally makes it to their place, and one would assume that if she had known Maureen, she would have known Mark and Roger, too, given how often all these people are together.

 

At Angel's funeral, Maureen says, "so much more original then any of us...you'd find an old table cloth on the street and make a dress...and next year, sure enough - they'd be mass producing them at the Gap."

 

How the fuck would she know? She met Angel one year earlier. Is this meant to be hyperbole? Or is it just because Maureen is full of shit in general? Because she clearly didn't know Angel long enough to see this happen.

 

I think we're saying the same thing if you are saying you liked the stage version better. I'm typing these quickly as I do other things. I might not have been clear.

 

Also, I think Angel is just a fixture of Alphabet City. Maureen could have met her independently.

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It seemed like there wasn't a woman in town that Angel didn't know.

 

First issue - it seemed like Angel knew immediately that Roger had AIDs right?

 

Biggest issue - Angel calls out Thelma & Louise in her intro song but that didn't come out until 1991. Was it based on a book that I totally missed in all these years?

 

Final issue - Just everything about Roger. I disliked him a lot, I'm sorry.

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I did not care for the movie version as much as the stage version. Here are some of the big problems.

 

Many of the lines that were originally sung turned into speaking lines. Some of the lines were ridiculous to begin with, when you take the music out and make them into dialogue, it sounds even more ridiculous. They also got rid of the answering machine messages, which were fun little breaks like Mark's mom singing "So let her be a lesbiaaaaaaaan."

 

The East Village and Alphabet City exteriors didn't look like the East Village or Alphabet City. They shot much of the movie in California and in studios and it shows.

 

They got rid of the backstory of Roger's ex-girlfriend. She killed herself by slitting her wrists in the bathroom. Her note was "We've got AIDS." I mean, come on, that's some serious "baggage." In the movie, he just comes across as being a jealous controlling douchebag, but really, he was afraid to watch another lover die.

 

I don't know why I left this off until last, but the beginning of the movie, the set up to the whole thing, is done poorly. We open with the 8 friends singing Seasons of Love. I completely don't understand the reason for this choice. It's a lovely song, in fact, one of my favorites, but it's jarring to go from Seasons of Love to Mark angrily pedaling his bike through Manhattan, complaining about "eviction or pay, RENT!" It makes no sense, because the scene with Benny telling them to pay the back rent or gtfo comes after this song in the movie. So Mark knew about the eviction notice, but then when he speaks to Benny later, he's completely surprised about it. WHAT?!

 

Speaking of Benny, he redeems himself in the musical version. At Angel's funeral, the priest tries to kick them out because Collins and others can't pay. Benny comes to the rescue and settles the bill. Collins tells Benny that Angel killed his akita (Evita), and Benny admits he always hated that dog. Collins and Benny exit stage as buddies. See, isn't that nicer than the movie Benny who had a "thing" with Mimi when she was only 17?! (in the stage version they have a thing 3 months prior).

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I did not care for the movie version as much as the stage version. Here are some of the big problems.

 

Many of the lines that were originally sung turned into speaking lines. Some of the lines were ridiculous to begin with, when you take the music out and make them into dialogue, it sounds even more ridiculous. They also got rid of the answering machine messages, which were fun little breaks like Mark's mom singing "So let her be a lesbiaaaaaaaan."

 

The East Village and Alphabet City exteriors didn't look like the East Village or Alphabet City. They shot much of the movie in California and in studios and it shows.

 

They got rid of the backstory of Roger's ex-girlfriend. She killed herself by slitting her wrists in the bathroom. Her note was "We've got AIDS." I mean, come on, that's some serious "baggage." In the movie, he just comes across as being a jealous controlling douchebag, but really, he was afraid to watch another lover die.

 

I don't know why I left this off until last, but the beginning of the movie, the set up to the whole thing, is done poorly. We open with the 8 friends singing Seasons of Love. I completely don't understand the reason for this choice. It's a lovely song, in fact, one of my favorites, but it's jarring to go from Seasons of Love to Mark angrily pedaling his bike through Manhattan, complaining about "eviction of pay, RENT!" It makes no sense, because the scene with Benny telling them to pay the back rent or gtfo comes after this song in the movie. So Mark knew about the eviction notice, but then when he speaks to Benny later, he's completely surprised about it. WHAT?!

 

Speaking of Benny, he redeems himself in the musical version. At Angel's funeral, the priest tries to kick them out because Collins and others can't pay. Benny comes to the rescue and settles the bill. Collins tells Benny that Angel killed his akita (Evita), and Benny admits he always hated that dog. Collins and Benny exit stage as buddies. See, isn't that nicer than the movie Benny who had a "thing" with Mimi when she was only 17?! (in the stage version they have a thing 3 months prior).

 

Sorry, I can't edit my replies to the relevant sections right now...

 

Re: Seasons of Love, I think it was because it was THE song of the movie. From what I read it was actually a hit, so I guess the idea was to give it to you right at the top.

 

It makes way more sense to come after the intermission though.

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I think we're saying the same thing if you are saying you liked the stage version better. I'm typing these quickly as I do other things. I might not have been clear.

 

Also, I think Angel is just a fixture of Alphabet City. Maureen could have met her independently.

Nah, I was unclear. When I said I had an opposite reaction, I meant to the movie itself. I didn't really like it that much (although I did like it more than when I watched it a few months back), but the stage version kind of made me appreciate it more.

 

I mean, there are still major missteps in the movie, and Columbus makes some strange choices, but after seeing the stage version, I have to wonder if there's a good film version that can be made. This is musical is clearly meant to be performed in front of an audience.

 

There are things like Maureen's demonstration where I was just like, "What the hell am I supposed to do with this?" in the movie, and then in the stage version, I thought it was hilarious. As far as I know, they are reading the exact same lines, and Idina is incredible, so it's hard to blame the writing or the performance. So I think the difference is that the stage version - like all live performances - is a transactional experience. The performers play off of the audience, and they instinctively know how to cater a performance to the audience.

 

So, I think I gained some respect for the movie after seeing everything in the stage version, but it really still makes me wonder if there's a version of this movie that could be anywhere near the stage version.

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God dammit, y'all, now I'm gonna have to see the Broadway version.

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At Angel's funeral, Maureen says, "so much more original then any of us...you'd find an old table cloth on the street and make a dress...and next year, sure enough - they'd be mass producing them at the Gap."

 

How the fuck would she know? She met Angel one year earlier. Is this meant to be hyperbole? Or is it just because Maureen is full of shit in general? Because she clearly didn't know Angel long enough to see this happen.

 

She's totally full of shit. She says that she can't help that other people fawn over her, but it looked like she was the aggressor in these situations. She's actually the woman in rubber (cat suit).

 

Re: Seasons of Love, I think it was because it was THE song of the movie. From what I read it was actually a hit, so I guess the idea was to give it to you right at the top.

 

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I have not watched the stage version. But the movie made me very frustrated at times. As far as the music, Seasons of Love was fine, and I like Tango: Maureen and I'll Cover You. I absolutely hated I Should Tell You.

 

I really liked Tom and Angel. They were way more interesting to me than the other couples. Joanne and Maureen made me especially angry that Joanne even accepted the proposal pff

 

Can I say coming into the movie knowing nothing about it and seeing it set up on Christmas, for a while I thought maybe Angel would be a real angel? But then she kills the dog, so lol

 

 

tbh I was really sad they killed her off, she was the best character. I wanted to punch everyone besides Tom at the funeral.

 

 

I'm gonna pull a Jason and say that everything after Mark hits his head during the tango is a Jacob's Ladder scenario.

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God dammit, y'all, now I'm gonna have to see the Broadway version.

 

You really should. It is way better. It makes a difference. In the movie, I cried when Angel died, but when Mimi "died" I felt nothing. When I watched the stage version I got tears both time-even though I knew what was going to happen.

 

I do agree with Fister though. I preferred movie/original cast Tom and Angel. Not saying the stage versions were bad, just not as good.

 

Roger is way better in the stage version too.

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I'm gonna pull a Jason and say that everything after Mark hits his head during the tango is a Jacob's Ladder scenario.

Okay I did think because of that injury he was just imagining Joanne having the same issues as him because he was a jealous ex.

 

Oh and as per usual the amount of times people laughed whenever they found out Maureen was now with a woman and called her a lesbian despite the fact that she was clearly attracted to men AND women really bothered me. *shrugs*

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You really should. It is way better. It makes a difference. In the movie, I cried when Angel died, but when Mimi "died" I felt nothing. When I watched the stage version I got tears both time-even though I knew what was going to happen.

 

I do agree with Fister though. I preferred movie/original cast Tom and Angel. Not saying the stage versions were bad, just not as good.

 

Roger is way better in the stage version too.

I wish Roger's items from the stage had been left in the movie. Roger is original cast as well and I didn't care for him in the movie at all. He reminds of TN in JCS.

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I will say, some of the harmonies in this were pretty great-especially between Mark and Roger. The two songs I come back to the most are "Rent," and "What You Own" followed closely by "I'll Cover You."

 

I hate, I hate, hate "One Song Glory" and "I Should Tell You."

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One general note. It REALLY bothered me that Angel killed a dog to earn the money and that was celebrated later. Well, it turns out I'm a hypocrite. I've seen La Boheme several times and missed that Schaunard kills a parrot! (Angel's last name is Schunard.)

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I had trouble getting Roger. Like I get the initial "I like you, but I moved away from that lifestyle so stay away from me" but he seemed to flip flop so often I kinda stopped caring.

 

He had pretty hair though.

 

Also what kind of guitar did he have that he could buy a car after selling it?

 

 

 

I'll admit we were working on a jigsaw puzzle while watching this, so I may have missed some stuff. Please feel free to correct me if I error.

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Roger is way better in the stage version too.

Yes! He's 100% less terrible.

 

It's worth pointing out that - with two exceptions - this is the original Broadway cast. The original Mimi couldn't be in the movie because she was pregnant, and the original Joanne felt she was too old.

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I will say, some of the harmonies in this were pretty great-especially between Mark and Roger. The two songs I come back to the most are "Rent," and "What You Own" followed closely by "I'll Cover You."

 

I hate, I hate, hate "One Song Glory" and "I Should Tell You."

I remember the first time I saw this in high school I thought that "Light My Candle" was the dumbest song in the fuckin' world. I have lightened up my stance on that but I still don't want to revisit it really. Actually everything Roger & Mimi sing I don't want to revisit ever. (Nothing to do with voices because I thought Rosario sounded beautiful but their songs are booooring.)

 

My faves are still forever and ever "La Vie Boheme" and "Take Me or Leave Me"

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