Angry Letter: ‘Rent’

A fellow named Chris ( e-mailed me recently in response to my review of the film “Rent.” He writes:

ITS A [swear word] MUSICAL U RETARD! [I believe that was actually the original advertising slogan.] Oops here’s another song? What did you think it was gonna be like. If there weren’t songs you would’ve said..”I didnt like this wasnt so much a musical as it was a regular movie.” And hey did u watch La Bohem? [No, but I did manage to catch “La Boheme.”] The main illness was teberculosis…the AIDS of that time. [We’ll ignore the medical incongruities between tuberculosis and AIDS and just point out that while TB is indeed the ailment of choice in “La Boheme,” only one character suffers from it.] The main characters are drug addicts, sluts, strippers, and homo-sexuals…all prone to….guess what…AIDS!!! The people that dont have AIDS are…here’s a shocker…you ready??? Mark…momma’s boy who doesnt do drugs, Maureen…dated momma’s boy, wouldn’t let her do drugs…and the up-tight lawyer Joanne…who…well…the description is pretty much says it. The peopel that did have AIDS…druggie, druggie, stripper druggie, and two gay guys…hmmm…pattern? My opinion…if you dont get the movie, don’t make dumb biast comments on it.

That an e-mail so riddled with grammatical, spelling, logical and factual errors should call MY comments “dumb” — and it happens all the time with angry-letter writers — is one of the genuine delights of my job.

For the record, my actual complaint in the review was not that the film had too many songs, but that the songs didn’t feel connected, like they were part of a unified whole. In fact, the movie didn’t have ENOUGH songs — by cutting out a lot of the singing that connected the numbers in the stage version, the movie got that disjointed feeling I complained about. ITS A [swear word] REVIEW U RETARD! TRY READING IT!!