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Movie review

For a great movie, 'no day but today'

By LYNDSEY MCKENNA, Times X-Team
Published December 12, 2005


MOVIE: Rent

RATING: PG-13 for mature thematic material involving drugs and sexuality, and for some strong language.

SUMMARY: Set in New York's East Village between Christmas Eve of 1989 and 1990, a group of artsy friends are struggling with paying rent, AIDS and drug abuse, but manage to measure their lives in seasons of love. While Mark (Anthony Rapp) attempts to make a documentary about life as he knows it, Roger (Adam Pascal) wants to write one last song while Mimi (Rosario Dawson) wants a relationship with him. They all face eviction by Benny (Taye Diggs), their former roommate. Mark's ex-girlfriend, Maureen (Idina Menzel) pursues a new relationship with Joanne (Tracie Thoms). Tom (Jesse L. Martin), a computer whiz, also becomes romantically involved with Angel (Wilson Jermaine Heredia).

MY VIEW: This has to be the best movie I've seen all year (and I am not the biggest fan of musicals, nor am I a "Rent-head"). It somehow manages to be humorous, emotional and uplifting in all of its 135 minutes. With the exception of Dawson and Thoms, the rest of the cast was in the original 1996 Broadway premiere. A sense of unity and confidence emanates from the screen. From the opening with Seasons of Love, its signature song, to the high-intensity, hilarious performance of La Vie Boheme, in which the cast gives a eulogy to the death of bohemia, the transition of song to dialogue is seamless. The first half is much more light-hearted than the second, when the characters are forced to face the harsh reality of poverty, life and death. This is a truly moving act. Sniffles could be heard all around the theater.

RECOMMENDATION: Heed the PG-13 rating. I recommend this movie to anyone in high school or older. The movie's main message, "No day but today" has merit, and the movie serves as a good historical representation of the 1990s.

GRADE: A

- Lyndsey McKenna, 14, is in ninth grade at St. Petersburg Catholic High School.

[Last modified December 9, 2005, 11:42:05]


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