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Rent Control (2003)

A young Iowan couple move into aunt Agatha's rent controlled apartment on Manhattan while looking for an apartment and jobs. When Agatha dies 6 weeks later, they decide to keep it a secret and stay.


David Eric Brenner




Credited cast:
Melissa Joan Hart ... Holly Washburn
Ryan Browning ... Calvin
Carmen Electra ... Audrey
Andrew Kavovit ... Dennis
Don Novello ... Rico
Joseph D. Reitman ... Vincent
Lynne Marie Stewart ... Aunt Agatha
Joel Michaely ... Peter
Beege Barkette ... Claire Fealy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ric Borelli Ric Borelli ... Sleazy Building Manager
Alan Dale ... George
Tony Devon ... David
Gerard Facchini Gerard Facchini ... Serpico
Ian Kitzmiller Ian Kitzmiller ... Tom
Nicole Marie Lenz


An attractive couple in their early 20's, Holly and Calvin arrive in the Big Apple fresh from Iowa. They are optimistic, naive and eager to succeed as actors. However, they find the path to success in New York a little more treacherous than they thought. The sky-high rents throughout the city force them to move in temporarily with Holly's Aunt Agatha, an eccentric woman with fifteen cats and an addiction to diet pills. Aunt Agatha lives in a rent-controlled, spacious 1-bedroom apartment on 90th St. and Central Park West, a very posh neighborhood. After six weeks of futile apartment-hunting and numerous other New York humiliations, Holly and Calvin are ready to call it quits and head back to Iowa. At their moment of greatest despair, they discover Agatha's dead body on the kitchen floor. The poor woman has overdosed on diet pills. After panicked deliberation, Holly and Calvin come up with their scheme: If they pretend Agatha is still alive, they can keep the rent-controlled apartment, ... Written by Daniel Q.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

apartment building | See All (1) »


All's Fair in Love and Rent


Comedy | Romance


Did You Know?


Originally completed in 2002, but officially released in September 2005 as part of the ABC Family Movies imprint ("Pizza My Heart" "School Of Life"). See more »

Alternate Versions

Re-edited and re-scored to better capture the writer's vision. The new faster paced version is entitled Aunt Agatha's Apt. See more »


Fly Guy Jive
Written by Deeji Mincey
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User Reviews

Fun farce!
4 May 2012 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

"Rent Control" (also known as "Aunt Agatha's Apartment") had a troubled release history. It was shot in late 2001 before 9/11 and then shelved for not finding a distribution channel; when a distribution company picked it up they edited it to make it sellable to ABC Family Movie, who aired it. It was later released on DVD in late 2006. The problem is that "Rent Control" isn't a family movie. It's an adult comedy. Yes, it has the lovable Melissa Joan Hart and an overall lighthearted, fun vibe and, no, it doesn't have any cussing, but it does include some adult scenes. For instance, one woman a young couple (Hart & Ryan Browning) seek to rent an apartment from is a sadomasochist. But the biggest non-family issue is the presence of a necrophiliac janitor in Aunt Agatha's apartment building.

You heard me right, a freakin' necrophiliac! There's a scene where the janitor in question puts a "Do Not Disturb" sign on his door and it's just puke-inducingly SICK to consider what was going to occur in that apartment. No doubt it was an attempt at black humor, but it failed.

Yet that's a very small part of the story, which entails Hart & Browning trying to find an affordable apartment in NYC. They're temporarily staying in Aunt Agatha's quarters and, when she unexpectedly dies, they try to hide the fact from the weird landlord.

Melissa is her usually cute, winsome self and she's perfectly contrasted by the worldly Carmen Electra, who may or may not come between Hart & Browning. Andrew Kavovit also has a significant role as an elevator man infatuated with Electra; and Joseph Reitman effectively plays the weirdo super.

FINAL WORD: Despite the failed attempt at black humor noted above, "Rent Control" is a very amusing situational comedy intended for adults and older teens with an excellent cast & characters. From the get-go it's clear that the movie's a farce and not to be taken seriously; as another reviewer points out, it's not "Based on a True Story." Anyone who takes it seriously needs to visit the psych ward. In any event, "Rent Control" is highly entertaining and that's the bottom line.

The film runs 95 minutes.


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Release Date:

9 September 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aunt Agatha's Apartment See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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