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April 25th, 2007

Rent & Why it Pisses me Off

Totes Me!
So I watched Rent last night after cooking for Julie, because she was absolutely insistent I watch it at some point.

The music is catchy, to be sure, and well-written, well-performed.

Unfortunately, this is set in a time and era which I don't understand. It's got characters wtih whom, by and large, I can't identify with and can't learn anything new from. In fact, most of them piss me off. They're vulgar, stupid with money, irresponsible, rude and rebellious without a cause.

I said this to Julie, that the only people I could feel for were Angel and Benny - Angel because she honest to godliness just does her best to help others, even through her own suffering, despite her little selfish bouts, and Benny because I understand how important it is to suffer through corporate America in order to chase one's dream. I understand how important it is to pay the rent. And when Benny gave Mark a free lease and Mark refuses it, I felt wronged - mostly because if I were in Benny's shoes, that's what I would do, try to bargain and compromise, and still fight to get what others want. To be denied ungraciously like that? Ridiculous. What's the point of shoving away free money, when you know you need it to survive?

All I saw in that film was drama drama drama between the characters, unless it's Collins and Angel. Maureen and Joanne didn't have to fight like that. Mimi and Roger didn't have to push each other the way they did. Mark could have said something instead of going around filming. Imagine what they would've been like if they weren't so held back by fear and were just honest.

Which appears to be a quintessential American problem: ruled by fear, therefore incapable of being honest (or even rational).

And what the fuck, Maureen stages a protest and how could she not have known there would be a riot, particularly with police standing by? It was the police's fault? Give me a break; take some fucking responsibility.

I suppose it's nice to see that La Boheme, that old interpretation that has always led us artists to trouble, is still alive in the hearts of young'uns.


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