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« Breakin' Up Is Hard To Do | Main | Simple Life Has A Home »

November 28, 2005

Rent Review

I saw "Rent" last night. Here are a few thoughts:

--If you liked the musical, I think you'll like the movie. If you know every song, every line, every rhythm, know the lines that are spoken and not sung, you may start out like I did: noticing every little difference. At some point, I began to let go of that, and appreciate the differences.

--While there's something to be said for the live music of the musical, the surround sound of a movie theater is amazing, and the music itself (sans singing) is quite powerful.

--Overall, the cast is quite strong. You can't go wrong with "Rent" veterans like Idina Menzel (Maureen), Adam Pascal (Roger), Anthony Rapp (Mark), Wilson Heredia (Angel), and Taye Diggs (Benny). Although, I wish they would have incorporated Diggs' character of Benny a bit more.

--Tracie Toms, who plays Joanne, is also a Broadway veteran, but not to "Rent." She was quite strong vocally, but I thought her acting left something to be desired. She didn't have as much chemistry as I would have liked with Menzel.

--Jesse L. Martin (Tom) was fantastic. You probably know him from "Law and Order." He put is own spin on Tom's songs, and really belted the "I'll Cover You" (Reprise). Superb casting there by director Chris Columbus.

--Rosario Dawson, you ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRE the weakest link! Goodbye! Seriously, could they not have rounded out the cast with someone of the same caliber as the rest of the gang? Don't get me wrong, she was decent, but it was glaringly obvious that she hadn't had the same vocal training as the rest.

--My recommendation--go see it. If you don't walk out humming the tunes, and feeling a little inspired, you're a Scrooge. :)

--Let me know your thoughts! I'm waiting for my resident Broadway expert, Kel P., and big "Rent" fan Iceman, to weigh in as well.

Posted by Lawren at November 28, 2005 08:13 AM | Trackbacks (1)

You Said

I have been dying to see this! I always wanted to see it on stage but never had so at least I'll get the next best thing now that it's in theatres. It looks sooo good. By the by... I just saw Walk the Line and that is an excellent flick too!

Says: Lori at November 28, 2005 09:05 AM

Grade: A-

Opinion: I walked out of "Rent" with merely minor complaints. I enjoyed it from the moment the screen went dark and the first note of "Seasons of Love" hit. Initially, I was skeptical as to how this show could be played out on the big screen - but my reservations were quickly curbed. With the bulk of the original Broadway cast in tow, the show was wonderful. In agreement with your MP&S Editor, Rosario Dawson was not needed, but I understand the desire to fill a few more seats. To strengthen this claim, I got online last night to see a headline "Rent, featuring Taye Diggs and Rosario Dawson ranks 3rd at the Box Office." Taye has natural talent and a singing voice, so that didn't bother me; Rosario, on the other hand, can't sing, relatively speaking. Jesse Martin, on the other hand, CAN, and nailed it. He really brought it home at the funeral scene for Angel, as you could hear a pin drop. I was nervous to even shift in my seat, as this might have broken the intense silence. Minus Rosario and a few awkward scenes (let's face it, it's just difficult to put a show like this onto the big screen - ex: "Light My Candle" was just awkward ... they seemed very unnatural and forced trying to act out that scene while singing) I'd give it an A.

Says: Iceman at November 28, 2005 02:59 PM

A BUFFALO boy- Jesse L. Martin...I am drooling imagining him singing this very second. Mmmm.

I thought R.D. was a strange cast choice as well...

Says: Jennifer at November 28, 2005 04:14 PM

Lawren, I pretty much agree with the review, though I did like Rosario Dawson. But I want to add that Chris Columbus can take no credit for the casting of Jesse L. Martin -- he played Collins in the Original Broadways cast.

Says: susan d. at November 28, 2005 08:17 PM

I don't know if we saw the same movie, but I thought Rosario Dawson was amazing, as did everyone else I know who saw it. I guess she doesn't have quite the raspiness of daphne, but she wouldn't have been cast if she couldn't hold her own.

Says: dana d at November 30, 2005 04:08 PM

Man errrbody talkin' about rent, rent, rent... What the hell that movie anyway? Hope it got good actors in it. 'Cause leb folks ain't watchin no fucked up movie or shit.

Says: tha king at December 4, 2005 08:03 PM

Let me start by saying that I love musicals.
And let me say this, I find the songs in Rent annoying contrived.

Says: amanda at December 13, 2005 12:00 AM

oops I meant to add -and-

Says: amanda at December 13, 2005 12:02 AM

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