Based on Puccini’s La Boheme, tells the story of one year in the life of friends living the Bohemian life in modern day East Village New York. Among the group are our narrator nerdy love struck filmmaker Mark; the object of his affection his former lover, Maureen; Maureen’s Harvard educated public interest lawyer lesbian lover Joanne; Mark’s roommate HIV+ former junkie, Roger; Roger’s lover the HIV+ drug addicted SandM dancer, Mimi; their former roommate HIV+ computer genius Tom Collins; Collins’ HIV+ drag queen street musician lover Angel; and Benjamin Coffin III a former member of the group who married money and has since become their landlord and the opposite of everything they stand for. Shows how much changes or doesn’t change in the 525,600 minutes that make up a year.
As you can tell from the above synopsis, this is NOT a family-friendly film. Like it or not, it is a peek into the underground world of drugs and homosexuality among a group of friends on the streets of New York at the “End of the Millennium.” Don’t let the singing fool you, this is serious stuff. Be prepared to see same-sex kissing, crude and suggestive dancing, cross-dressing, prostitution, drug addiction and withdrawal, and the effects of AIDS. The homosexual lifestyle is portrayed as acceptable and supported by family and friends.
However disturbing the subject, this film is an interpretation of the award winning musical seen on Broadway for many years. Like a Broadway musical, almost every word is delivered in song and these songs are extremely catchy. I found myself humming a few of them long after leaving the theater. The quality of singing and dancing is fantastic, which is mostly due to the fact that most of the cast is straight from the original show.
Due to strong subject matter and language, this film can not be approved by Dove.