To Rent or Not to Rent: Rent (2005) Film Review

Should you rent 2005’s musical, Rent? …Okay, bad pun. Find out here.

The short answer is no. This film is annoying, plain and simple. It has four major problems:

1. Why is it a musical?

In Grease, they sing for love. In Mamma Mia, they sing for identity. In Chicago, they sing for freedom. In Rent? In Rent they sing for peanuts. In fact, only two songs, “Tango: Maureen” and “Life Support”, are sung with any passion or for any tangible reason, and the former is debatable. A musical is a musical because its characters can’t bottle their emotions, because they feel the need to sing at flashpoints in their crises. In Rent, there are no crises. There are no flashpoints. Most of the songs have no purpose or function for the story, and many could be easily replaced with dialogue without degrading the plot.

2. Why is it a movie?

Strangely, the film is shot much like a stage performance. The majority of scenes take place in small, cramped sets, as would be the case in a live performance. The actors too are clearly stage actors (or at least under direction to ham it up as stage actors do). So this beckons the question: Why is it even a movie?

3. It’s too gay

Don’t worry, I’m gay, we’re allowed to say that. The sad fact of the film is that, quite simply, it’s just too camp. It would be fine if it didn’t take itself seriously, but it does. Sigh.

4. The Songs

The songs are a bit… iffy. Okay, this may be nitpicking. But I’m not expecting groundbreaking stuff here. Some of the songs are seriously bad (“Light My Candle” and “Another Day”… we’re looking at you). Not to mention the *cough* lack of *cough* singing ability of the actors.

I’m sure there is an audience for Rent. I’ve even heard some people rave about it. But for most, it won’t be so. To cut the rant short: No, you shouldn’t rent 2005’s “musical of the year”. Maybe next year, buds. Maybe next year.


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