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Template:Infobox Film Template:Otheruses4 Rent is the cinematic adaptation of a Broadway musical of the same name, released November 23, 2005. Production began March 15, 2005. The film's limited release date in New York City, Los Angeles, and Toronto on November 11, 2005 was cancelled, and the official premiere was at New York's Ziegfeld Theatre on November 17, 2005.

As in the original musical, the story of the film spans the course of one year. The musical only stated that the action begins and ends on a December 24; however, the movie provides precise yearly dates for the story (1989 to 1990). This creates some inconsistencies within the text of the film; for example, the song "Today 4 U" contains a reference to the film Thelma and Louise, which was not released until 1991. [1] Columbus has said that these specific dates were included because he intended for the action of the film to be taking place prior to the 1990s gentrification of Manhattan's East Village, the neighborhood in which the movie is set.


Main article: Rent (musical)#Plot

The film's plot is largely identical to that of the original Broadway musical, although there are several minor differences between the two resulting from the filmmakers' decision to omit several songs from the original show.

Detailed Plot

Template:Spoiler The film opens with apartment tenants (including two friends and roommates, Mark and Roger) expressing their anger with suddenly being asked to pay rent which had previously been waived by the landlord. Collins, a former roommate of Mark's and friend to both Mark and Roger, returns from out of town and is attacked by three men and left for dead in an alley. Benny, the landlord and former roommate of Mark and Collins, who has married into a wealthy family, offers to give Mark and Roger free rent again if they can convince Maureen (Mark's ex-girlfriend) to stop her protest. The protest is to take place at Maureen's performance space which Benny is planning to turn into a cyber-cafe

Angel Dumott Schunard, who is an HIV-positive drag queen drummer, meets Collins, who is also HIV-positive, in the alley. We learn that these two characters are romantically interested in each other. Later that night, Mimi, a night club dancer addicted to heroin, meets Roger.

The next morning, Roger and Mark meet Angel, who invites them to join her and Collins at a meeting at a local community center. Earlier that morning, Angel and Collins had invited Roger and Mark to the meeting, but they had declined. While there, Mark asks permission from the Support group members to film them for his new documentary. A man in the group talks about how he finds it hard to accept what they teach in the group, "but I try to open up to what I don't know, because reason says I should have died 3 years ago." ("Life Support") Forward to a night club, with Mimi performing a song and dance routine.("Out Tonight") She barges into Roger's apartment, where he gets angry at her. ("Another Day")

The next day, Mark asks Roger if he wants to go to the Support group meeting with him, but Roger declines. At the meeting, the people began to question, "Will I lose my dignity? Will someone care? Will I wake tomorrow from this nightmare?" ("Will I") During this, Roger joins the group, much to Angel, Collins, and Mark's joy. On the way back to the apartments, the four friends talk about leaving New York and going out Santa Fe and opening a restaurant ("Santa Fe") After the subway ride, Mark and Roger go off to help Joanne at the lot where the protest will take place. Walking down the streets, Collins and Angel express their love for each other in song ("I'll Cover You").

Maureen's protest happens later that night. Benny has put the police on standby. This proves to be a bad mistake on his part. There is a riot, which causes Maureen to get even angrier at him. That night at the Life Cafe, everyone meets up. Mark reveals that he got the riot on film and the show Buzzline wants to put it on their show. Benny tells everyone that he is sorry (with the unmoved Maureen telling him to "go to hell") and that the reason his wife wasn't there was that there was a death in the family. It turns out to be his dog, who Angel caused to jump off their twenty-third-story apartment, not knowing it was his. They then perform "La Vie Bohème" and in the middle, Roger and Mimi perform their own song outside ("I Should tell You"). Roger finds out that Mimi is HIV-positive, and Mimi already knows that Roger is too. Joanne serves as Mark's lawyer and they sell his footage to Buzzline and he negotiates a job there. He will be paid $3,000 a segment. During their conference with Alexi Darling, the Buzzline employee, Joanne sees Maureen flirting with another woman. Outside, after being scolded by Joanne, Maureen proposes to her, and Joanne accepts. Forward to their engagement party, where Maureen flirts with yet another woman. Angry, Joanne threatens to leave her, while Maureen becomes angry at Joanne for "making" her be too monogamous ("Take Me Or Leave Me"). They then walk out on each other. Benny has repossessed all of Roger's and Mark's things, but it is revealed that Mimi later had dinner with Benny and he had changed his mind. Roger finds out, and believes that she is cheating on him with Benny. During the next song, Angel gets progressively sicker and eventually dies ("Without You").

The next scene is Angel's funeral in a large church. Collins and everyone else at the funeral perform the same song he and Angel had sung with each other earlier ("I'll Cover You" (reprise)). After this, Roger and Mimi argue about their past relationship, along with Joanne and Maureen. In their argument, Roger reveals that he has sold his guitar and is planning to leave for Santa Fe. However, he comes back shortly afterward, only to find that Mimi has gone missing. After a while, Joanne and Maureen find her at a park. She had been living on the streets. As she is about to die, Roger sings the song he has been writing over the last year ("Your Eyes"). Mimi is near death, but regains consciousness and says, "I was heading toward this warm, white light. And I swear, Angel was there…and she looked good! [Collins laughs.] She told me, 'Turn around, girlfriend, and listen to that boy's song.'" The six friends perform the finale. During the last song ("Finale B"), we see Mark's documentary, entitled "Today 4 U" (the song Angel sang when she first met Roger and Mark) with the last frame being Angel, out of drag, holding her hand up to the light. Template:Endspoiler


Many exterior shots were filmed in New York City; the interior and remaining exterior shots were filmed in San Francisco, San Diego, the famed Filoli House in Woodside (San Mateo County, California), Oakland, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.[2]

Until 2001, Spike Lee was to direct the film for Miramax. However, budgetary constraints and Lee's insistence on engaging celebrities like Justin Timberlake and Brittany Murphy stalled the project for a time.

In October 2004, Revolution Studios recovered the project, with Chris Columbus as the director and Columbia Pictures as the distributor. Columbus, himself an NYU student and graduate at the turn of the 1980s, and in the location where the musical and film are set, felt a connection with the characters and their experiences. He can actually be seen in the beginning as an irritated driver who finds his car windshield being washed.

The first trailer for the film featuring the song "Seasons of Love" surfaced on various Rent fan sites in early June 2005. The trailer was said to be shown before the films Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Crash in select cities beginning June 3, 2005. reported that the trailer would officially be released June 7, 2005, exclusively on America Online; the movie's official blog announced it would also air during the June 7 episode of Access Hollywood.

A second trailer was released on August 25, 2005, which featured some dialog from the film as well as music from the second part of the finale ("Finale B"). A third trailer aired during the September 2005 season premiere of Nip/Tuck, which contained new footage set again to "Seasons of Love."


Principal characters

All but two principal members of the original Broadway cast reprised their roles on film. Names in bold denote original Broadway cast members.

  • Anthony Rapp, Mark Cohen - A struggling filmmaker and Roger's roommate. Was dumped by Maureen for Joanne.
  • Adam Pascal, Roger Davis- An HIV positive ex-junkie rock musician.
  • Rosario Dawson, Mimi Marquez - An HIV positive heroin junkie and nightclub dancer. Roger's love interest.
  • Jesse L. Martin, Thomas B. "Tom" Collins - An HIV positive philosophy teacher and a former roommate of Maureen, Roger, Mark and Benny. Angel's love interest.
  • Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Angel Dumott Schunard - An HIV positive Transsexual street musician. Collins' love interest.
  • Idina Menzel, Maureen Johnson - A performance artist and Joanne's girlfriend; Mark's ex-girlfriend.
  • Tracie Thoms, Joanne Jefferson - A Harvard graduated lawyer and Maureen's love interest.
  • Taye Diggs, Benjamin "Benny" Coffin III - Mark, Roger and Mimi's apartment building landlord and ex-roommate of Collins, Roger, Maureen and Mark. Is now married to Allison Grey of the Westport Greys. Has an affair with Mimi.

Chris Columbus got the idea to give the original cast first dibs on the roles when he talked to Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal and Idina Menzel about the musical and felt that they all still looked the same as when they premiered the show in 1996. Only Daphne Rubin-Vega and Fredi Walker, the original Mimi and Joanne respectively, were not cast in the film. Rubin-Vega was pregnant at the time of casting and (at roughly 35) was too old to play a character of 19. Walker herself stated that she looked too old to play the part of Joanne and therefore refused the offered role.[citation needed]

Taye Diggs' role as Benny in the Original Broadway Cast of RENT assisted in launching his acting career, which includes the movies How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Chicago, as well as the lead in the critically-acclaimed TV show Kevin Hill.[citation needed]

Idina Menzel (Maureen Johnson) and Taye Diggs (Benjamin "Benny" Coffin III), are a married couple outside of the movie. They originally met during the original 1996 Broadway run of Rent, both as a part of the original cast. Idina Menzel since went on to play Elphaba in the original cast of Wicked. Then, Taye joined Idina in Wicked as Fiyero, the man both Elphaba and Galinda fall for.

Jesse L. Martin and Taye Diggs were both in Ally McBeal - Martin as Dr. Greg Butters and Diggs as Jackson Duper.

Jesse L. Martin had to take leave during the second half of the 2004-05 season of Law & Order to participate in the film. His character was shot and hospitalized to explain his absence.

Anthony Rapp's first movie, Adventures in Babysitting, was directed by Columbus. He has also acted in a number of other films, including A Beautiful Mind in which he played Bender.

Tracie Thoms had auditioned for the role of Joanne several times on Broadway before finally landing the role in the movie.

Adam Pascal and Sara Silverman had also starred together, yet had nearly no connections to each other in the movie, in School of Rock.

Supporting characters

  • Mackenzie Firgens, April Ericsson
  • Aaron Lohr, Steve
  • Sarah Silverman, Alexi Darling
  • Wayne Wilcox, Gordon


In the US, the film has officially been rated PG-13 by the MPAA. The rating was actually taken into consideration with creative decisions in during script writing and filming. Even with changes (such as removing pervasive profanity), director Chris Colombus still expresses amazement that the film received a "PG-13" due to risque scenes and content. In Quebec it is rated PG. In the U.S., it is rated PG-13 for Mature Thematic Material Involving Sexuality & Drugs and for Some Strong Language.

In the UK, the film was rated 12A by the BBFC.


The movie was moderately successful, and earned generally favorable reviews. It had the second-highest grossing opening weekend for a Broadway musical adaptation, surpassed only by The Phantom of the Opera, released the year before. A lack of recognizable stars likely limited its mainstream appeal, however. The film's marketing campaign focused heavily on Rent's Broadway reputation, and some critics argued the film was too much of a fan service, though arguably this was, in fact, an open motivation of the picture.

Among fans, there was some controversy over the song cuts, and the decision to include spoken dialogue. Many feel that too many songs weren't included or turned into dialogue, while others insist that the cuts were necessary.

The DVD release, with its many features, was favorably received by fans and sold well.

Alternate Ending

There is an alternate ending on the DVD. The first part is the same, with Mark showing his documentary. However, halfway through the documentary, all the characters except for Angel are in the theater where "Seasons of Love" was performed in the beginning of the movie. After 30 seconds, Angel walks on stage, not in drag and walks into his spot. This explains the location of "Seasons of Love" at the beginning of the movie.

Differences between the stage and movie versions

Many of the original songs from Broadway were cut in order to add dialogue to the film and make the flow of the plot seem more natural, whereas on Broadway, it was a rock opera with very little spoken dialogue. The numbers "Christmas Bells", "Happy New Year A & B", "Contact" and "We're Okay" along with all of the answering machine messages (Voice Mail #1-5) and (Tune Ups #1-3), which are sung in the musical, were among the cut. Some of these songs were turned into spoken dialogue, in order to maintain a "realistic" setting. One song, "Halloween," a solo sung by Mark, was cut because it didn't "fit in with the pacing" of the film. Also, the second part of "Goodbye Love" was intended to be in the film, but it ended up being cut because Columbus considered it somewhat of an emotional overload, which lessened the emotional impact of the final moments of the film. Additionally, the scene was cut because, up until this point in the film, Mark and Roger had always used spoken dialogue to speak to each other. Both scenes are on the second disc of the DVD set as special features.

Other deleted scenes featured on the DVD include: an extended version of the scene just before "Without You" where Mimi, Roger, and Benny have a heated argument, and Angel graciously tries to calm them down when she suddenly accidentally lets slip that she may have had something to do with the death of Benny's dog. This scene was cut because Columbus didn't want to dwell on the Mimi & Benny relationship at that particular moment. A small scene right before the second part of "Goodbye Love" where Benny pays for Angel's funeral, and Collins tells him that he just paid for the funeral of the person that killed his dog, after which Benny reveals that he was aware of this the whole time and expresses his dislike for the dog (The scene was cut because it was a humorous moment that took the "tension" out of the preceding scene.

A scene between Roger and Benny in the Life Cafe where Benny tells Roger that he just wanted to be a friend to Mimi, but that she still loves Roger (it is unknown why this was cut).

The movie included a scene of a commitment ceremony between Maureen and Joanne, which culminated in the song "Take Me Or Leave Me" - and the breakup of Maureen and Joanne's relationship - after a hotly jealous Joanne blew up at Maureen for being too "friendly" with other women. In the original musical, there was no commitment ceremony scene, and the fateful argument between Maureen and Joanne took place while the two of them were rehearsing for another protest. They would eventually reunite during "Without You" and break up again in "Contact."

In the musical, Benny padlocks the apartment building immediately after the protest, and the friends spend New Year's Eve trying to break back in, with Joanne, Maureen and Mark breaking through a window while Angel uses a blowtorch to break the padlock. In the movie, the building isn't found to be padlocked until New Year's Day, with Angel breaking it with a garbage can. In both scenes, Benny arrives shortly after and restores the power.

In the song "Out Tonight" in the film Mimi states, "We won't be back before it's New Years Day!" But in the musical Mimi states, "We won't be back before it's Christmas Day", this is because Act One of the musical takes place over the course of one night, and in the movie is over three days.

DVD information

Rent was released on DVD in the United States (Region 1) on February 21, 2006, in 2-disc fullscreen and 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen formats. DVD extras include an audio commentary with director Chris Columbus, Anthony Rapp, and Adam Pascal as well as a new feature-length "making of" documentary, deleted scenes, and musical performances, a documentary on the life of the original playwright Jonathan Larson, and PSA's. This added value content was produced by Automat Pictures.

Rent was released on DVD in the United Kingdom (Region 2) on August 14, 2006, in dual-layer 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen format (rated 12 by the BBFC). The "making of" documentary is not available for this version; instead there are trailers for other Sony Pictures DVDs (such as Mirrormask and The Producers).

Technical information

Rent was filmed in Super 35 mm film format.


The 2-disc soundtrack, containing 28 tracks, was produced by Rob Cavallo and released on September 27, 2005. This version of the soundtrack was originally packaged in eight different slipcovers, each featuring one of the eight most prominent characters in the film. The first single, "Seasons of Love," was released exclusively on the iTunes Music Store on August 2, 2005; a music video was released on Apple's QuickTime website the same day.

Track listing


Official Motion Picture Soundtrack, released 23 September 2005.

Disc 1

  1. "Seasons of Love" (#33 US) - Joanne, Collins & Cast of RENT
  2. "Rent" - Mark, Roger, Collins, Benny & Tenants (including Mimi and Angel)
  3. "You'll See" - Roger, Mark & Benny
  4. "One Song Glory" - Roger
  5. "Light My Candle" - Roger & Mimi
  6. "Today 4 U" - Collins, Angel & Mark
  7. "Tango: Maureen" - Joanne and Mark
  8. "Life Support" - Gordon, Roger, Steve & Cast of RENT
  9. "Out Tonight" - Mimi
  10. "Another Day" - Roger, Mimi, Collins, Mark & Angel
  11. "Will I?" - Steve, Gordon & Cast of RENT
  12. "Santa Fe" - Roger, Mark, Angel & Collins
  13. "I'll Cover You" - Angel & Collins
  14. "Over The Moon" - Maureen (sung live on film by Idina Menzel [Maureen] and is a different take than was used in the movie.)

Disc 2

  1. "La Vie Boheme" * - Cast of RENT
  2. "I Should Tell You" - Roger & Mimi
  3. "La Vie Boheme B" * - Mimi, Mark, Angel, Collins, Maureen, Joanne & Roger
  4. "Seasons of Love B" - Cast of RENT
  5. "Take Me Or Leave Me" - Maureen & Joanne
  6. "Without You" - Maureen, Joanne, Mimi & Roger
  7. "I'll Cover You (Reprise)" - Collins, Joanne & Cast of RENT
  8. "Halloween" - Mark (cut from the film; included on the DVD as a deleted scene)
  9. "Goodbye Love" * - Mimi, Roger, Benny, Maureen, Joanne, Mark & Collins (Cut from film after the line 'I can't believe this is goodbye'; included on the DVD as a deleted scene)
  10. "What You Own" - Roger & Mark
  11. "Finale A" - Mimi & Roger
  12. "Your Eyes" - Roger
  13. "Finale B* " - Cast of RENT
  14. "Love Heals" - Cast of RENT (bonus track on the soundtrack which didn't appear in the film or Broadway play; this song runs during the end credits.)


  • On Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart for the week ending August 20, 2005, "Seasons of Love" debuted at #68.
  • "La Vie Boheme A" and "La Vie Boheme B" are joined together on the highlights album.
  • Notes on the bonus track Love Heals (taken from the CD case booklet of "RENT: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack"):
Jonathan [Larson] wrote LOVE HEALS while working on RENT, to help in the efforts of Love Heals — the Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS education. Alison was one of the first heterosexual women to contract AIDS from a "one night stand." He wanted to help her and the organization in the best way he could: with music. Although not written for RENT, we have included this bonus track as a tribute to Jonathan and to help further the cause of AIDS education.
  • The soundtrack uses the Broadway ending for "Tango: Maureen". On the soundtrack, and in the show, Joanne's line "My Maureen" is echoed by the sound equipment (to show that the equipment has been finally fixed). In the movie, they left this out and Joanne just says the line.
  • On the full Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Roger (Adam Pascal) sings the most songs^, having even a small part in 21 out of 28 songs, Mark (Anthony Rapp) coming in second with 18 songs, followed by Mimi (Rosario Dawson) with 17. Benny (Taye Diggs) is in last place with a mere 11 songs. Roger also has the most solo songs, 2 ("One Song Glory" and "Your Eyes") while Mark has one ("Halloween", although it was cut from the movie it is in the deleted scenes), as does Mimi ("Out Tonight", though it segues into "Another Day" it is one song). ^= including "Love Heals"


  • Tim Pierce (acoustic guitar, electric guitar)
  • Greg Suran (acoustic guitar, electric guitar)
  • Suzie Katayama (cello, accordion)
  • Jamie Muhoberac (piano, organ, keyboards)
  • Tim Weil (piano)
  • Gregory Curtis (organ)
  • Paul Bushnell (bass guitar)
  • Dorian Crozier (drums, percussion, programming)


A CD single for the tracks "Seasons of Love" and "Take Me or Leave Me" was released featuring remixes.

Track listing

Seasons of Love:

  1. Seasons of Love (Gomi's Liar Radio Mix)
  2. Seasons of Love (Monkey Bars Remix)
  3. Seasons of Love (L.E.X. Theatrical Club Mix)
  4. Seasons of Love (Eddie Baez's "Payin' the Rent" Club Mix)

Note: The Maxi Single contains the radio and club mixes for all for versions

Track listing


  • Take Me or Leave Me (Tracy Young Radio)
  • Take Me or Leave Me (Tracy Young Remix)
  • Take Me or Leave Me (Gabriel D Vine's Big Band Disco Remix)
  • Take Me or Leave Me (Jackie and Jorio Club Mix)
  • Take Me or Leave Me (Tracy Young Dub)
  • Out Tonight (Mark!'s Redux Club Remix)
  • Light My Candle (Monkey Bars Remix)



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