Rent is the story of a group of young Bohemians living in the East Village of New York City, including Mark (Anthony Rapp) and Roger (Adam Pascal). One day Mark and Roger learn that their rent is going to be due soon, despite having been previously waived. Their landlord also reveals that he plans to evict nearby homeless people and establish a cyber café, and that they can continue rent-free if they convince Mark’s ex-girlfriend to cancel a protest of this plan, which they refuse.
A drag queen finds their former roommate, Tom, in an alleyway after a mugging, and helps him out, then finds that they both have AIDS. Meanwhile, Roger, who is HIV-positive, tries to write his last great song, and is soon visited by an exotic dancer named Mimi. Events continue, and many of the friends begin to attend an AIS support group named Life Support.
After Mark’s ex-girlfriend’s protest concludes, a riot ensues, and Mark sells the footage to a local news studio. Their landlord decries their lifestyle, but the group persists, breaking back into their newly-padlocked apartment the next day. Mark takes a job at that same local news studio, while Angel the drag queen soon succumbs to AIDS, and Roger moves to Santa Fe, until they all reunite a year later to celebrate the joy of being alive.
“One of the best film musicals in years — exuberant, sexy and life affirming in equal measure.”
— Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter
“It’s a pretty good version of a pretty great stage phenomenon.”
— Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
Did You Know?
Rent is based on a Broadway production that has been performed over 5,000 times, making it the 9th-longest running production on Broadway of all time. Much of the original cast of the performance reprised their roles for the film. Most fans of the story still prefer the stage performance to the film, but it’s an important part of gay cinematic history nevertheless. Review our Gay Themed Films Here