Fridge Brilliance: This troper only just figured out a pun in the title song. The line is "it reaches way down deep and tears you inside out til you're torn apart! RENT!" I thought they were just shouting out the name of the song/show, but they're also defining the term "rent"—as in, torn apart (like in "rent asunder"). Considering the way the cast falls apart, it's an apt term.
Yep, apparently Billy Aronson, who had the idea of reworking La Boheme to make RENT, didn't like the name until Larson pointed out it has that double meaning.
And in "I'll Cover You," Angel sings that he'll charge Collins rent of one thousand sweet kisses. So love is a form of rent, as well.
The first time I listened to "Your Eyes" I found it touching, but terribly predictable and full of clichés in the lyrical sense. Especially if one considers that it took Roger no less than a year to write it. Then it hit me, the song was written in character. Maybe Roger is just not the songwriter Larson was. He does refer to himself as "the pretty boy frontman" of his rock band in "One Song Glory". Maybe he wasn't a songwriter to begin with, hence why he had such a difficulty finding inspiration when he picked up the guitar.
You can even take it a step further into horror. Roger wants to write a song before he dies so he'll be remembered after he's gone. But he's not a good songwriter at all. He's not going to be remembered, because he's not important or special enough to be.
"La Vie Boheme" is French for "the Bohemian Life". What restaurant does the cast sing this song in? The Life Cafe.
Roger's girlfriend who killed herself was named April, so he's mourning for April (the spring of his life) in December (the winter of his life). It's quite poetic, which is fitting for someone like Roger.
Mark seems like an Ungrateful Bastard for quitting his tabloid job, but considering he has the footage to make a groundbreaking (it's only 1990, after all) docudrama on people living with AIDS then his film could potentially be a major success, meaning he'd need all his spare time to do as much research as possible before cutting it together and finding a buyer.
In the original New York Theatre Workshop version of Rent, it is heavily implied that everything in "Without You" takes place in the month of April, by Maureen in Voice Mail #3 (the song right before it), where she says, "April is the cruelest month.
Fridge Logic: Why didn't Roger just stick to One Song Glory? How did Roger get enough gas money to get to Santa Fe and back, if he had to sell his guitar to afford the car? Why are they having an orgy during Contact?... the list goes on and on.
A shame, because "One Song Glory" is a thousand times the song "Your Eyes" is.
"Contact" is just an abstract concept of the couples' complicated sex lives and that they're (probably) not tossing around on a table.
I'm still trying to understand why Mark is in the apartment when Angel sings "Today 4 U". He left the apartment in "Tune Up #3" to go fix Maureen's equipment, but when he's actually doing it ("Tango: Maureen"), it's after Roger has met Mimi and Collins and Angel are back at the apartment.
That's obvious, Mark left, ran into the two on the way, and brought them back to the apartment, so that Roger wouldn't have to worry about what happened to Collins.
Also, in "Voice Mail #1", Mark's mother says how they will miss him tomorrow (Christmas). Mark is Jewish. Why would his family miss him on Christmas when it is a Christian holiday?
Many, many, MANY Jews celebrate Christmas as a secular holiday, particularly since Hanukkah is one of the least important holidays on the Jewish calendar.
Why does Mark claim he's "the one of us to survive"? Benny and Maureen were also part of the original gang; both of them are perfectly healthy, as is Joanne.
Mark's relationship with Benny is still not great (or at least not as great as when Benny was Mark's roommate), despite Benny's Heel-Face Turn. Maureen left Mark for Joanne. The claim stresses that he's now closer to Roger, Collins, and Angel than the others.
Mark could of also been talking about just between him and Roger as he felt Roger was killing himself trying to hide away from everything
Fridge Horror: There's almost no way Allison (Benny's wife) doesn't have HIV or AIDS by the end of the play. Unless she never has sex with Benny from Christmas onward (the point when Benny and Mimi reconnect), the virus is in her system. Considering Benny's lifestyle, I wouldn't be surprised if she was infected before they got back together. Despite being the driving force behind Benny's actions, she's an innocent victim; even her dog, annoying as it might have been, gets killed.
Or. Maybe they used condoms?
Or, maybe Benny and Mimi had no sex at all. The movie at least is somewhat up to interpretation on that part, that he simply took care of an old friend who had a shit ton of problems. Tbh, that sounds a lot more like Benny.
In "Contact" Angel's solo includes a short reprise of "Today 4 U", but after one line he switches it from "Today for you, tomorrow for me" to "Today me, tomorrow you." This could not only be indicative of Angel's death, but a subtle dark nod to Colin's ultimate fate as well.