We saw RENT last night at the theater, it was amazing. I give it two thumbs up, 4 1/2 out of 5 stars and an A. Wow... It was just so good, and I am a die-hard fan and hard to please. I will be listening to the soundtrack for the next couple weeks, I'm sure. They did an amazing job at sticking to the original story and making it more screen friendly. I think the movie is much easier to follow than the play. I was dissappointed that quite a few excellent songs were left out, one of my favorites in particular is Christmas Bells which is at least four different parts singing different songs at the same time and they just go together beautifully and shows what talent Jonathan Larson had. The few parts they had to throw in for the story to make sense were good, I was skeptical for the first few minutes of each added scene, and my sister and I each took turns looking at each other and rolling our eyes followed by the "what the hell is this?!" look. But the scenes were usually necessary and well done. They were short enough to not really change anything or make the story too complex. The beauty of the stage version is how everything is played out on a single stage with a single set up, the pit band is on stage visible throughout and the same props are used over and over for different things. In my opionion, the stage version is pretty much cheese-free. It's hard to have more than one person burst into song and choreographed dance without a little cheesey-ness, and I think the movie did very well with that too. The movie has far more speaking parts than the play, but that's ok, becuase the rhythm at which the lines were spoken, kept the same feeling that it had in the play.
Go see it... No day but today! Oh yeah, and Happy Thanksgiving!