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"RENT"
(2005) (Rosario Dawson, Anthony Rapp) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Mild Heavy Mild None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None Heavy Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Moderate None Heavy Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Musical: A group of East Village bohemians band together to battle poverty, drug use and AIDS in the late 1980s.
PLOT:
It's winter 1989 and things aren't looking good for roomies Mark Cohen (ANTHONY RAPP) and Roger Davis (ADAM PASCAL). The heat in their apartment has been turned off and their former roommate turned landlord, Benjamin "Benny" Coffin III (TAYE DIGGS), is going to evict them to make way for the building of a cyber studio. Of course, if they can convince Mark's ex-girlfriend, Maureen Johnson (IDINA MENZEL), to call off her performance-artist protest regarding the evictions, Benny will allow them to live rent-free in the new place.

But Mark, a struggling documentary filmmaker and Roger, a musician and former junkie who still hasn't gotten over his girlfriend's death, have no intention of doing that. Besides, Mark can't believe that Maureen has turned lesbian and is now dating lawyer Joanne Jefferson (TRACIE THOMS), while Roger tries to put off the advances of their downstairs neighbor, exotic dancer and junkie Mimi Marquez (ROSARIO DAWSON).

Then there's Mark and Roger's friend Tom Collins (JESSE L. MARTIN) whose return home is marred by a violent robbery. Coming to his aid is street drummer and transvestite Angel Schunard (WILSON JERMAINE HEREDIA) who rescues and then falls for him. Like some of the others, both have AIDS and they and their friends must deal with that, poverty, illness and Benny's attempts to evict them from their homes.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of the Broadway show, musicals in general, or anyone in the cast, it's a good bet they will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For mature thematic material involving drugs and sexuality, and for some strong language
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ANTHONY RAPP plays a struggling documentary filmmaker who lives with Roger, briefly uses strong profanity, drinks, and thinks he's sold out when he gets a corporate gig to help pay the bills.
  • ADAM PASCAL plays his roommate and best friend who's never gotten over the death of his fellow junkie girlfriend (he's since quit) and hasn't performed musically since then. He initially won't let himself fall for Mimi and appears to have AIDS. He drinks and smokes.
  • ROSARIO DAWSON plays their downstairs neighbor, an exotic dancer and junkie who falls for Roger. She smokes and eventually becomes a homeless person.
  • WILSON JERMAINE HEREDIA plays a gay cross-dresser who has AIDS, falls for Tom and inspires him and his friends to live life to the fullest. He briefly uses some profanity.
  • JESSE L. MARTIN plays Mark and Roger's teacher friend who's returned after an extended absence. He drinks, smokes (cigarettes and pot), falls for Angel and has AIDS.
  • TAYE DIGGS plays Mark and Roger's former roommate (and Mimi's former lover) who married a rich girl and is now their landlord thanks to his wealthy father-in-law. Having already cut off their heat, he gives them an ultimatum that would allow them to have free condos in the new building, but only if they stop Maureen's protest.
  • IDINA MENZEL plays Mark's former girlfriend, a performance artist who's staged a protest show over Bernie's evictions and is now the lesbian lover of Joanne but can't keep herself from flirting with other women.
  • TRACIE THOMS plays her lawyer girlfriend who initially doesn't like Mark, but then focuses on Maureen's constant flirting with other women.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this musical that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are present (spoken and in song). Sexually related dialogue is present (spoken and in song), a scantly clad exotic dancer is seen doing her thing (sexualized and provocative moves and poses, etc.) as are other such women and some brief making out occurs. One woman moons other people, and there's both a lesbian couple (who grope each other's butts) and a gay one.

    Various characters smoke and/or drink, while some use drugs (pot and heroin) or are noted as current or ex-junkies, while related dialogue and song lyrics are present. Bad attitudes are present, including that of some men who beat and rob a man. Some violence occurs between police and protestors, while potentially imitative behavior is present. Thematic elements include characters having AIDS (and one major one dies from that), drug use, poverty and more. Another character appears to die, but then comes back to life and is okay after that.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Miscellaneous people drink at a concert.
  • In a flashback, we see Roger's girlfriend buying drugs and then preparing to shoot up (but we don't see any insertion).
  • Roger states in song that he used to be a junkie and Mimi comments on dropping her stash, but later shows that she has a small packet of drugs in her hand.
  • We see beer bottles in Mark and Roger's place.
  • Collins brings liquor for Mark, Roger and himself (all drink a shot of it).
  • Tom smokes a joint.
  • People drink in a club.
  • Roger asks Mimi why she needs smack (heroin).
  • We see Mimi buying drugs from a dealer. When Roger walks up, the dealer pushes him backwards, prompting Roger to shove him back.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a restaurant where Benny and his associates have wine. Some of the main group drinks as they sing about wanting beer and wine, while Tom sings about marijuana (while taking a hit from a joint) and other drug related words are used in the song.
  • The group has champagne for New Years and we see Joanne drinking straight from the bottle. The next morning, Mimi drinks from what looks like a beer bottle.
  • People have champagne at an engagement reception where Maureen asks the bartender if she has anything stronger than champagne (she doesn't - just wine and champagne).
  • Mimi buys more drugs.
  • We see Mimi with a syringe, but she decides not to shoot up. We then see her going through withdrawal.
  • Roger sees Mimi buy more drugs after apparently going straight and confronts her about that.
  • Tom, Roger and Mark drink liquor.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Tom's face and hand are bloody after some guys beat him.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Three men accost Tom out on the street at night. He pushes them away and then runs, but they catch, punch and kick him in an alley before stealing his coat.
  • Benny is portrayed as the villain for evicting his former friends, but offering them free rent if they put a stop to Maureen's public protest of his actions. He also notes that he's going to build a studio there which is what all of them wanted in the first place.
  • Angel sings some song about killing a dog for pay, but we didn't catch all of the lyrics and whether it's a joke or for real.
  • Mark and Roger discover that Benny has locked them out of their place and removed all of their belongings.
  • Maureen comes on to a pretty receptionist, thus upsetting Joanne. She then defends her actions, saying that's the way she is.
  • Various friends in the group develop bad attitudes toward one or more of the others late in the film.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Three men accost Tom out on the street at night. He pushes them away and then runs, but they catch, punch and kick him in an alley before stealing his coat.
  • We see a montage of footage from an AIDS meeting where various long-term participants fade away (symbolizing them having died and that could be unsettling for some viewers).
  • A major character with AIDS gets progressively sicker and then dies.
  • Maureen and Joanne call up to the guys from the street that they've found Mimi (who's been missing for weeks). She looks bad and they lay her down on a table where she gets weaker and then seems to die. Her fingers then move and she comes to and is fine after that.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*cking weird," "Instead of my old sh*t," "Times are sh*tty," "Get your ass off the Range Rover," "Pissed," "The best ass below 14th Street," "Merry Christmas, bitches" (playfully said by Tom to Mark and Roger), "What the hell /happened to you/are you doing?" "Shut up," "Screws up," "Go to hell," "Piss," "You bet your ass," "Ah, damn," "What a frickin' sweetheart," "If you give a damn," "Yuppie scum," "C'mon guys, chill" and "Don't get your ass kicked this time."
  • It's possible the film could inspire some kids to break into song and/or dance.
  • Mark and Roger burn eviction notices and other paper in a barrel that they then pour off their fire escape down onto the street below. We also see that others are burning their notices as well.
  • Roger (or a person representing him in a musical flashback) has a tattoo on his shoulder.
  • We see miscellaneous graffiti on various surfaces throughout the film.
  • Mimi partially stands on the metal railing of her fire escape.
  • Angel does a flip or two while performing a song.
  • Referring to Mark being "whipped" by Maureen (figuratively), Tom makes a gesture symbolizing that.
  • Maureen wears a slight midriff-revealing top.
  • A person makes the "f-you" gesture with their arms.
  • Maureen moons others.
  • Roger playfully gives "the finger" to Mark.
  • Maureen drops a line of dialogue about previously piercing her nipples.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • Some songs had lyrics that we couldn't hear/understand, thus offering the possibility of them potentially containing other objectionable material.
  • During a musical number where Mimi keeps having Roger light her candle (with some tame double entendres) she says that she likes it when the wax drips down "between my..." with Roger quickly chiming in "fingers."
  • While on all fours in a tight skirt (and in a song), Mimi tells Roger that she has "the best ass below 14th Street." We then hear that she works as an exotic dancer in a place called "Cat Scratch" where Roger states they (those in the club) used to tie her up (she replies it's a living) and that he didn't recognize her without the handcuffs.
  • Angel sings some song about killing a dog for pay, but we didn't catch all of the lyrics and whether it's a joke or for real.
  • A performed song has at least 2 uses of the "f" word in it.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a restaurant where Benny and his associates have wine. Some of the main group drinks as they sing about wanting beer and wine, while Tom sings about marijuana (while taking a hit from a joint) and other drug related words are used in the song.
  • A song has lyrics about "mucho masturbation," "bisexuals, trisexuals..." "To sodomy, it's between God and me. To S&M," and about Mark being unable to hold an erection on high holy days.
  • Maureen sings a line during a song asking Joanne who's in her bed at night (referring to her being with Joanne despite her flirting with others).
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 "f" words, 4 "s" words, 5 damns, 5 hells, 4 asses, 4 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "G-damn," "God" and "Oh Christ."
  • Note: The term "Pussy Galore" is used twice, but that's in reference to the character of the same name from the 1964 James Bond film "Goldfinger."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • During a musical number where Mimi keeps having Roger light her candle (with some tame double entendres) she says that she likes it when the wax drips down "between my..." with Roger quickly chiming in "fingers."
  • While on all fours in a tight skirt (and in a song), Mimi tells Roger that she has "the best ass below 14th Street." We then hear that she works as an exotic dancer in a place called "Cat Scratch" where Roger states they (those in the club) used to tie her up (she replies it's a living) and that he didn't recognize her without the handcuffs.
  • In a fantasy bit where everyone's doing the tango, Maureen and Joanne show cleavage and we see some brief (and clothed) crotch shots as they dance and lift their legs high.
  • We see Mimi performing in the exotic dancer club while dressed in something approximating a bikini that's in the shape of a thong in the back (we briefly see most of her bare butt in one shot) while wearing stockings and high-heel boots. She provocatively dances and moves about, doing some suggestive moves solo and with another woman (running her hand between her legs with a tip from a male viewer). She and two other women then lie on the stage with their legs spread wide, while later bending over and suggestively moving her butt about for the viewers. During this, we also see scantly clad women dancing in cages in the club.
  • Mimi briefly but passionately kisses Roger.
  • Angel sings a song about how he wants kisses from Tom in exchange for helping him out (get a coat, etc.). They then briefly embrace and kiss.
  • During her protest performance, Maureen does a bit about drinking from a cow's udder and says something about something maybe being a female thing (while holding her own clothed breasts).
  • During a musical number, Maureen moons Benny and his associates (we see her bare butt, along with tattoos there and on her lower back). Joanne then puts her hands on Maureen's clothed butt while jokingly telling the men they're sisters (Maureen does the same back to Joanne, but that occurs just below the camera shot). Mimi then does some mock rear entry intercourse movement behind Angel and there's a line about "mucho masturbation." We then see Maureen partially on top of Joanne on the table, followed by Angel getting on top of Tom on that same table (and there's a joke about them being brothers). Comments are made about sodomy and S&M and jokingly about Mark being unable to hold an erection on high holy days.
  • Roger and Mimi passionately kiss while clothed and standing.
  • We see Maureen in a skintight, leather cat suit (as a costume).
  • Maureen comes on to a pretty receptionist, thus upsetting Joanne.
  • Maureen shows some cleavage in a tank-top that she then lifts at the bottom to expose her bare midriff.
  • Maureen sings a line during a song asking Joanne who's in her bed at night (referring to her being with Joanne despite flirting with others).
  • We see some slow motion footage of Mimi reclining backwards over her legs (that are flat on the stage) to expose her open (but clothed) crotch as her legs are spread.
  • We briefly see a miscellaneous exotic dancer in her bra backstage.
  • SMOKING
  • Mimi, Roger and Tom each smoke several times, while various miscellaneous characters smoke in several scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The question posed by the song that asks how you measure a person's life.
  • AIDS (several characters have it, and one major character dies from it).
  • Drug use, addictions and withdrawal.
  • Living a bohemian lifestyle.
  • We see various homeless people.
  • A person comments that since they're a New Yorker, fear is their life.
  • A homeless lady accuses Mark of trying to kill his guilt regarding her by filming some cops giving her a hard time (the presence of the camera makes them leave).
  • Mark thinks he's sold his soul when he takes a job doing corporate filmmaking.
  • Joanne and Maureen are lesbian lovers who become engaged (but then break up at the subsequent party due to their opposing views and ways), while Tom and Angel become lovers.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Three men accost Tom out on the street at night. He pushes them away and then runs, but they catch, punch and kick him in an alley before stealing his coat.
  • While dancing somewhat of an antagonistic tango with Mark, Joanne drops him while dipping him, causing his head to bang on the floor.
  • We see Mimi buying drugs from a dealer. When Roger walks up, the dealer pushes him backwards, prompting Roger to shove him back.
  • A cop hits a person at a protest performance with his billy club, prompting someone else to hit that cop on the head with a bottle that shatters. We then see a great deal of struggling (no specifics) following that.
  • Discovering that they've been locked out of their homes, Angel takes a metal trash can and smashes the lock off the door.



  • Reviewed November 15, 2005 / Posted November 23, 2005

    Other new reviews available this week include:

    [As Above, So Below] [Life of Crime] [The November Man]

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