I have finally seen Rent. The movie version, not the show. I enjoyed the music, particularly the opening song, Seasons of Love. I cared about the characters. I was captured by the powerful story of these young people, several of whom were basically making the most of life until they died. And I was deeply moved when I called to mind that there are people who really live like this.
The message in the story was that we must make the most of each moment, because any moment could be our last. For these Bohemians, that meant the pursuit of whatever carnal pleasures they desired. There was some reference to trying to help others less fortunate, and the plot device about the young man, Benny, who "got out" and got married and got a good job from his rich father-in-law was interesting. Benny was now trying to take over part of the old neighborhood to build a cyber-cafe. This was seen as "selling out." The Bohemians saw themselves as the less fortunate that others should be helping, I think, to some extent.
But aside from one event toward the end of the movie, there was not much hope to be found. Nothing about the reason that we should help others, nothing about faith in anything beyond the now. "There's only us, there's only this..."
Seems to me that for us there should be more to making the most of each moment than the selfish pursuit of whatever carnal pleasure presents itself. We have our mandate - to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.
Maybe instead of watching movies about it, we should try to help. Walking humbly requires getting off of our couches.