Often it appears as if the cast of Rent has decided to go legit and find religion; those who survive realize deep down they're sacred. You've got ethnic girls compelled to strip and whore; an HIV-positive punk disowned by his Park Avenue family; a stuttering, mentally challenged savant; and a pregnant 17-year-old fresh off the bus from Texas, guitar-strumming b.f. in tow. Hero “Kick” (Dedio) is their de facto den mother, working with Bujold's savior-in-the-system to keep them well—with mixed success, naturally, because he's battling multiple demons of his own.
We're asked to invest in too many characters; on the other hand, aside from Bujold, there's no one you want or need to know more about. Seen one street urchin turn a trick, shoot up or double-cross a fellow on-the-margins, you've seen ‘em all. Still, it would be a shame if
was only remembered for its familiarity, or the cameo of Lillo Brancato—the
actor now awaiting trial for murder—as a pimp. Though not fully earned, the final Christmas Eve hopefulness is welcome. The lesson being: One shining performance can redeem an entire movie.
Cast: Joey Dedio, Genevieve Bujold, John Savage, Burt Young and Lillo Brancato Jr.
Director: Rafal Zielinksi
Screenwriter: Joey Dedio
Producer: Joey Dedio, Maria Rita Caso and Robert Ragland
Rating: R for language, sexual content, drug use and some violent images
Running time: 103 min.
Release date: April 20, 2007 ltd