So I finally watched Rent tonight, after being told for nigh ten years that I should see it by many different people.
The problem with being told you should see a movie/play/musical/whatever for nigh ten years is that you're almost guaranteed to not like it as much as you've been told you should've. I probably would've liked Rent a lot ten years ago, and I suppose I still did, just not as much as I had been led to believe I'd love it.
I think this is where we dispense with the required
I think most of the characters were self-absorbed nitwits. The only character I really liked was the evil villain Ben, who heartlessly asked them to pay rent on the apartment they were living in and tried to start a business that could actually benefit the bohemians in the area. Plus, he married into money, and I think marrying into money would be really cool and a lot of fun.
As for the rest of the cast:
Mark: Aimlessly filming homeless people does not qualify as making a documentary, no one besides your loser friends want to watch your little clips of them out having fun instead of working, and you're not above filming segments for a show people actually want to see. And you know what you could do with that money you must be spending on film? Pay your rent.
Maureen: I spent half the movie hoping there was a good reason why she was protesting paying rent. And there wasn't. And her protest/performance art/whatever was unwatchable nonsense. Maureen strikes me as a person who was never told how dumb she sounded all the time because she was cute and could get away with it. I hate people like that.
Jo Ann: Dumbest Harvard-educated lawyer ever. If I had just caught my significant other flirting with someone behind my back, my gut reaction would not be to propose to her, especially if I was also friends with her ex who told me exactly how she treats everyone.
Roger: I'm torn on Roger. Like Roger, if a heroin addict broke into my apartment while high looking for sex, I would kick her out. Unlike Roger, I wouldn't fall all over myself apologizing to her the next morning about how wrong I was and then date her for awhile. And I sure as hell wouldn't spend the next year writing whiny songs about her eyes. However, I do feel the urge to pack up my stuff and move out west every now and then when I am dissatisfied about the path my life is taking.
Mimi: Mimi is a stripper at what appears to be a high-end club. Other than the heroin addiction, why the hell can't she pay the rent? And if she's a stripper, a typically looked down upon profession, why is she hanging out with all these losers who think they're above doing even normal, harmless, non-degrading work? Shouldn't she be flirting with them, taking what little money they have, and laughing at them behind their back? That's what I'd do.
Angel: I've got nothing bad to say about Angel. He takes care of himself, takes care of his friends, and generally treats people well instead of the lame passive-aggressive crap that his friends pull on each other. And you know what being the likable, functional member of this club gets you? Killed off midway through the movie.
Tom: I like Tom too. He steals money from ATMs and generally subverts the man using his intelligence, as opposed to the rest of these losers, who generally use their intelligence to make whiny crap no one wants to see or hear.
Now, I actually liked this show, I just happened to disagree with its theme that there is some nobility in living in self-inflicted poverty when you could be doing something useful for someone. I'll fight a revolution for people who go to work for eight hours a day to come home and live in poverty. People who don't go to work at all and come home to whine about having to pay rent? Not so much.