On the Movie "RENT"

(Note: This was originally combined with a recipe post, but I chose to separate them to make the recipe post more relevant. To remain authentic to where I was at the time of writing this, I did not change any of the original wording of the post. While I may have a better understanding of the background of movies such as RENT now [circa 2016], this post reflects where I was when it was originally written in 2006.)

In college, one of my favourite classes was Jazz Choir. One of my favourite classmates was Kim Denis. (Kim, are you reading me? Did I send you my blog? I'll have to e-mail you and check.) Kim ADORED the play Rent, which I believe she had seen in New York before her year-long tour with Up With People. And I believe our Jazz Choir ended up singing "Seasons of Love" in no small part due to her exuberant recommendations of the song. If she wasn't part of the reason, she was definitely over-the-top excited when the instructor pulled it out. (A lot of things with Kim are over-the-top. It's why I love her so much.)

Well, I loved the song. I had no idea what the musical was about, but as a die-hard musical lover, I knew I wanted to see it. Especially since Kim loved it so much.

Last night, my wish was fulfilled. I don't want to ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, but I will touch on a couple of points:

  • I was surprised to discover that the lyrics "the way that she died" in the theme song (from all the trailers, "Seasons of Love") was actually referring to a he.
  • The music was sensational. But they could have at least found someone who could sing for the movie, right? *sarcasm dripping.* Seriously, everyone in this movie was an amazing singer, and from a musical standpoint, I have no regrets in watching it.
  • There was a little too much PDA between homosexual couples in it for my tastes. Okay, any would have been too much for me. I know that no matter what I say in the rest of this point, I am going to offend someone, or already have, so I'll just say it. I love homosexuals. I have friends that are homosexuals. I also have friends that pirate CDs, gossip, tell "little white lies", and can probably be condemned "guilty as charged" of many of these crimes and others at different points of my life. However, I don't have close friends who flagrantly flaunt (10 points for alliteration on "fl") their sins, demanding that they be considered as right, simply because someone is doing them. I know that it is only humans who rate sins ("What Suzy did when she cheated on her taxes is much worse than what I'm doing, so I am still doing okay"), and that God views them all the same. How could I ever condemn anyone else for what they are doing, when I commit so many blunders myself each and every day? I guess I just don't feel I need to have those things shoved in my face, marring an otherwise wonderful entertainment event.

While typing this last point, I felt convicted by the Holy Spirit: So, I found "Rent" distasteful because it involved same-sex kissing, but I still enjoy watching many other movies that include swindlers, con artists, murderers, and many other vices? Have I ever written a diatribe about these subjects? Yikes! Ouch! I get the point! Perhaps I have become more desensitized than I thought. Although, as I general rule, I try to avoid movies with excessive amounts of gore, and gore is still my least favourite part of any movie that includes this, I am rather fond of watching movies such as, say, "Ocean's 11" or other hi-larious con movies. So, wrong-doing portrayed in a humourous way is now okay? What kind of double standards do I have, anyway?

OUCH! I said. STOP IT ALREADY!

I am obviously going to have to re-think some of my other movie choices. Or, be more careful with what I say. Or, decide what kind of standard I am going to apply across the board. Hmm. Too much food for thought.

I didn't know when I started this post that I would start having to sweep out the dark, cobwebby corners of my mind and values. Grey areas can become so comfortable--you tend to lose focus on black and white in the soothing, warm fuzziness of the fog that obliterates them. Sometimes, grey is the real colour, but sometimes, grey is only black or white covered with apathy and neglect. The question is, which is which?

If I was smart, I would probably delete the whole second half of this post. But, in an effort to maintain this newly-discovered honesty with myself in this area, and at the risk of losing at least half of my readers, I will post it anyway. Please don't send TOO much hate mail my way.

I forgot to mention earlier: I did like the theme of the movie, which was "No Day But Today." Good reminder to live every day to it's fullest.