File:Rent movie poster.jpg
Directed by Chris Columbus
Produced by Michael Barnathan
Chris Columbus
Robert De Niro
Written by Jonathan Larson (play)
Steve Chbosky & Chris Columbus (screenplay)
Starring Anthony Rapp
Adam Pascal
Rosario Dawson
Jesse L. Martin
Wilson Jermaine Heredia
Idina Menzel
Tracie Thoms
Taye Diggs
Music by Jonathan Larson
Cinematography Stephen Goldblatt
Editing by Richard Pearson
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) Template:Flagicon November 23, 2005 (wide)
Template:Flagicon 7 April, 2006
Running time 135 minutes
Language English
Budget $40 Million
IMDb profile

Rent is a 2005 film adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name. It details the struggles of a group of young friends in the East Village area of New York City in the late-1980s, early-1990s. The film, directed by Chris Columbus, had six of the original Broadway cast members reprising their roles.


Template:See also 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 musical.

After an introduction with the cast singing "Seasons of Love", the film opens on Christmas Eve, 1989, 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 ("Rent"). 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 ("You'll See").

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, Roger mourns the loss of his girlfriend April, who committed suicide after learning that she was HIV positive, and sings of his desire to write one lasting song before his own death from AIDS ("One Song Glory"). Mimi, a nightclub dancer addicted to heroin, enters Roger's apartment and flirts with him ("Light My Candle").

The next morning, Roger and Mark meet Angel, who performs a song-and-dance number for them ("Today 4 U"). Angel invites them to join him and Collins at a meeting at a local community centre. Roger declines but Mark accepts, telling them he will be there after he goes to help Maureen, who had called and asked for help with a technical problem. Mark goes to help Maureen, only to meet Joanne Jefferson, Maureen's new lover. They talk about Maureen's "hobby" of cheating ("Tango: Maureen"). He then proceeds to the Life Support Meeting. 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 nightclub, with Mimi performing a song and dance routine, singing of her desire to go out and have a good time before her life ends ("Out Tonight"). She barges into Roger's apartment, where he gets angry with 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 how their lives would continue now that they have the AIDS virus ("Will I?") During this, Roger joins the group, much to Angel's, Collins', and Mark's joy. On the way back to the apartments, the four friends talk about leaving New York and going out to Santa Fe and opening a restaurant ("Santa Fe"). After the subway ride, Mark and Roger go off to help Joanne at the lot where a protest Maureen is staging 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 ("Over the Moon"). Benny has put the police on standby, which proves to be a mistake on his part. There is a riot, which causes Maureen to get even angrier with 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 was not there was that there was a death in the family. It turns out to be his dog, which Angel caused to jump off their twenty-third-story apartment, not knowing it was Benny's. Benny tells the group that they need to grow up and start being responsible and questions them if they really want to continue living like they are ("La Vie Bohème") Mimi's watch timer goes off and we learn that she also has the AIDS virus, Roger and Mimi express their love for each other outside the cafe ("I Should Tell You"). The two re-enter the cafe and celebrate their newfound relationship ("La Vie Boheme B").

The gang celebrates the New Year together, with Mimi vowing to give up her drug habit and go back to school. However, they are locked out of their apartment, so Angel breaks the padlock with a garbage can. They enter, only to find that all of their things are gone.

Joanne serves as Mark's lawyer, they sell his footage to ‘‘Buzzline’’, and he negotiates a job there. He will be paid $3,000 per segment. During their conference with Alexi Darling (played by Sarah Silverman), the Buzzline supervisor, Joanne sees Maureen flirting with another woman. Outside, after being scolded by Joanne, Maureen proposes to Joanne, and Joanne accepts. Fast forward to their engagement party, where Maureen flirts with yet another woman. Angry, Joanne threatens to leave her, while Maureen becomes angry with 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 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. Mimi resumes her drug habit and falls into a state of despair, while Angel gets progressively sicker and eventually dies ("Without You").

The next scene is Angel's funeral in a large church. Collins sings the song that he and Angel sang together ("I'll Cover You (Reprise)"). After the funeral, Roger and Mimi argue about their past relationship, as do Joanne and Maureen. In their argument, Roger reveals that he has sold his guitar, bought a car, and is planning to leave for Santa Fe ("Goodbye Love"). After he arrives in Santa Fe, he discovers that he still loves Mimi, cannot stand to be away from her, and decides to return. During this time, Mark decides to finish his own film and quits his job at Buzzline ("What You Own"). However, after Roger returns he finds out that Mimi has quit rehab and 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 we get to see Mark's documentary ("Finale B"), entitled "Today 4 U: Proof Positive" (Today 4 U was the song Angel sang when he first met Roger and Mark) with the last frame being Angel, out of drag, holding his hand up to the light.


Rent was filmed in Super 35 mm film format. 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, California (San Mateo County, California), Oakland, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.[1]

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."

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.


Principal characters[]

All but two principal members of the original Broadway cast reprised their roles on film. 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. Likewise, Walker is on record as stating (in the DVD version's bonus documentary) that she looked too old to play the part of Joanne.

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

Supporting characters[]

  • Mackenzie Firgens - April Ericsson (Roger's late girlfriend)
  • Sarah Silverman - Alexi Darling
  • Aaron Lohr - Steve
  • 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 during script writing and filming. Even with changes (such as removing pervasive profanity), director Chris Columbus still expresses amazement that the film received a "PG-13" due to risqué 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 some strong language.

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


The movie earned mixed reviews, as indicated by its 48% rating on Rotten Tomatoes[1]. Popular response, however, was much more positive.

It had the third-highest grossing opening weekend for a Broadway musical adaptation, surpassed only by the 2007 version of the film Hairspray and The Phantom of the Opera, released the year before.

The film earned $10 million in its opening weekend, before going on to gross a total of $31 million US at the box office, short of recouping its $40 million dollar budget. Despite this, the film has since earned a cult following. [2]

Differences between the stage and movie versions[]

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 and was meant to be the present; 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.[3] 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.Template:Fact

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 is a rock opera with very little spoken dialogue. Songs which appear in the musical but not the film include "You Okay Honey?", "Christmas Bells", "Happy New Year A & B", "Contact" and "We're Okay" along with "Tune Ups #1-3" and all of the answering machine messages ("Voice Mail #1-5"). Sections of other songs were turned into spoken dialogue, including "You Okay Honey?", "Happy New Year A & B", the entirety of "On The Street" and all "Tune Ups" and "Voice Mail". A solo by Mark, "Halloween", was filmed, but cut because it did not "fit in with the pacing" of the film. "Goodbye Love" was filmed in its entirety, but the second half was cut from the film because Columbus considered it somewhat of an emotional overload.Template:Fact Both scenes are on the second disc of the DVD set as special features.

There were three other deleted scenes featured on the DVD. One is an extended version of the scene just before "Without You" where Mimi, Roger, and Benny have an intense argument, and Angel graciously tries to calm them down only to accidentally imply that he may have been involved with the death of Benny's dog. This scene was cut because Columbus did not want to dwell on Mimi & Benny's relationship at that particular moment. Another is a small scene right before the second part of "Goodbye Love" where Benny pays for Angel's funeral; Collins tells Benny that he just paid for the funeral of the person that killed his dog, but Benny reveals that he was aware of this and expresses dislike for the dog. The scene was cut because it was a humorous moment that took the "tension" out of the preceding scene. The final deleted scene is where Roger meets Benny at the Life Cafe and learns that Benny just wanted to be a friend to Mimi, who still loves Roger (it is unknown why this was cut).

The movie includes a scene of a commitment ceremony between Maureen and Joanne that culminates in the song "Take Me Or Leave Me" and the breakup of Maureen and Joanne's relationship. 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.

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 is not 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" from the film, Mimi states, "We won't be back before it's New Years Day!" while 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. Similarly, before "Today 4 U," in the movie, Collins sings, "Gentlemen, our benefactor on this Christmas Day/Whose charity is only met by talent, I must say" while in the stage version, it is "Gentlemen, our benefactor on this Christmas Eve/Whose charity is only met by talent, I believe" once again because of the timespan changes.

The film also leaves ambiguous the death of Roger's girlfriend April, who dies before Rent begins. In the film, she is seen reading a doctor's report that she is HIV positive; it is stated that she has died, but nothing more is said. In the stage version, Mark explicitly states that April committed suicide by slitting her wrists in the bathroom.

Finally, the song "You'll See" occurs after the titular piece "Rent" in the movie version, while it appears after "Today 4 U" in the musical. This is because Chris Columbus wanted Benny to be involved in the story earlier.

In the musical, the audience does not see Maureen until the finale of Act I where she rides in on a motorcycle. In the movie, however, she is first seen in Tango: Maureen when Mark and Joanne dance and see her cheating on Joanne.

The film opens with the song "Seasons of Love", whereas Act II starts with it in the musical version.

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. Automat Pictures produced this benefit content.

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).

A Blu-ray version of Rent was released on 11 December 2007.

In addition to four deleted scenes, the movie includes an alternate ending, showing all the main characters except Angel standing in the positions where they were during the "Seasons of Love" opening. The musical has this effect at the end when they all line up. Before the song ends in the movie, Angel enters, not in drag, and after pausing to grasp Collins' hand as he passes him, walks into his place.


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" - 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 did not appear in the film or Broadway play.)


  • 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.


  • 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)

Recording Engineers[]

  • Doug McKean (Chief Engineer)
  • Charles Williams (Assistant Engineer)
  • Elan Trujillo (Assistant Engineer)

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 four versions

Track listing[]


  1. Take Me or Leave Me (Tracy Young Radio)
  2. Take Me or Leave Me (Tracy Young Remix)
  3. Take Me or Leave Me (Gabriel D Vine's Big Band Disco Remix)
  4. Take Me or Leave Me (Jackie and Jorio Club Mix)
  5. Take Me or Leave Me (Tracy Young Dub)
  6. Out Tonight (Mark!'s Redux Club Remix)
  7. Light My Candle (Monkey Bars Remix)



External links[]



  • Trailer