I have been a fan of Rent ever since I first heard the music probably more than ten years ago. I first saw the West Coast premier at the La Jolla Playhouse when I was in college at Point Loma Nazarene College (now University). I loved it then and I've seen it three or four times since then (at least once in Pittsburgh and at least twice in State College). I love the show and have been eagerly awaiting the movie ever since I heard Martin Scorcese was looking to direct.
At long last, the movie is out--directed by Chris Columbus--and it's fantastic. It hasn't gotten the greatest of reviews, but I accredit that to movie critics being movie critics and not theater people. I suspect anyone who's seen and loved the show will love the movie--even the Rentheads. In fact, I suspect anyone who's a fan of musical theater in general will love the movie.
Sure, as a pure movie, there are some pitfalls as is always the case in going from the stage to the screen (especially with musicals), but it's an awesome musical and a great movie musical. In fact, as many times as I have loved seeing it on stage, I found myself even more emotionally affected watching it on screen. I'll probably see it several more times in the theater and will definitely buy it on DVD.