Well it seems like only yesterday that we were enjoying the beginning of the final month of 2019, yet here we are already on December 2nd.
Happily, that does mean it’s time for door number 2 of The Third Annual James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films.
But wait, the door won’t open.
It looks like someone has changed the locks.
Maybe it’s because we haven’t paid our rent.
Much like the protagonists of 2005’s musical drama Rent. A movie in which a bunch of struggling artists and political idealists seem to believe that they are entitled to live in a building for free. Which they aren’t.
Rent is not an especially good film. I suspect some people love it, but I suspect they will be people who also love the stage show. Which is supposedly very good. I wouldn’t know, I haven’t seen it, but it won awards and seems to be fairly well thought of.
I think that, in part, the stage show was critically acclaimed for dealing with topics such as drug addiction and AIDS. Which was pretty ground-breaking stuff for a stage-show in 1996. Possibly less so for a movie in 2005.
Another issue with the movie is possibly the decision to recast many of the original stars of the Broadway show in the movie. They are clearly all very competent performers, but they all seem to be a little bit older than the characters they are portraying in the film. If I was to be specific, I’d say they are about nine years too old.
Ultimately Rent (the movie) is largely inoffensive stuff (in spite of its best efforts to be challenging) and mostly plays like an homage to the original stage-show, rather than a genuine attempt at cinema in it’s own right.
Score for Christmasishness
To be fair, while it’s not a great movie, for the purposes of The James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films it’s actually a bit of winner. Although the timeline supposedly spans a whole year, most of the action is set over the Christmas period, and the fact that it’s a musical (albeit one that deals with some quite depressing topics) only adds to the Christmas cheer. So if you’re going to bother watching it at all, then Christmas is by far the best time to watch it.