Well, it is if you have a computer and a decently quick way to see trailers online, that is.
My friend Becky gave me the heads up that the trailer for RENT was online. Now it's available in iTunes with an exclusive track from the movie soundtrack. For the official site, go to http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/rent/.
I was a little trepidacious when I heard about plans for the movie. Ok, good, the original Roger (Adam Pascal) and Mark (Anthony Rapp) are back to reprise their roles, as are many of the other original cast members (Taye Diggs and Jessie Martin). But, having seen RENT again recently, I can't help but feel as though the stage musical is stuck in 1996, which is understandable, considering that the creator of the musical, Jonathan Larson, died shortly after the play opened, due to an aeortic aneurysm just before his 36th birthday. It can sometimes be hard to convince people to see a musical where the music is heavily influenced by the late 80's/early '90's, so perhaps the movie will provide a better visual context for more people to understand the heart and story of RENT.
But the trailer assuaged my fears. It looks as though the movie takes the story and makes it bigger, while retaining a few images of the stage and the wonderous, anarchistic setting the musical invokes. I was a little afraid that Adam and Anthony were looking a little old for their roles, but everyone looks great. The director is Chris Columbus, recently of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban fame, so he should have no problems working with such a large ensemble cast. The costumes have been updated (which they have not in the stage version, so Roger has to endure what I can only say look like Skidz-style plaid baggy pants, and Mimi is still wearing a glitter/patent leather/leopard/spandex thing that may have been lifted from an old Prince video). I am not sure I am a fan of Roger's 'do, but I can live with that (what is that called, anyway? Is it a shag cut? A blow and dry?).
But it will be a great experience, I am sure. It looks beautiful. If you get the chance, see the stage musical. Listen to the soundtrack and then start the countdown to November.
PS, for the original musical website, go to http://www.siteforrent.com