“Empire Records, open 'til midnight, this is Mark.”
Empire Records is one of the greatest teen movies ever made. Should it even be called a teen movie? One of the characters gets into Harvard and the others ponder their after high school future but other than that the movie does in no way feel like a teen movie. It is pretty much told as a series of events in the lives of the employees of a record store and the events are hilarious and moving.
Each “teen” (the cast at this point were all well out of their teens) is shown going through some events in their lives: Corey (Liv Tyler) gets into Harvard, she takes speed, and really does not like the store slut Gina (Renee Zellwegger); AJ (Johnny Whitworth) likes Corey but has never been able to tell her and he debates going to art school; Lucas (Rory Cochran) was given the job of closing the night before but he screwed up big time; Deb (Robin Tunney) went through some tough emotional things the night before and tried to kill herself and comes in the store and shaves her head in the back bathroom; and Mark (Ethan Embry) just floats through the store without a care in the world adorably (well, he’s also aided with some brownies and a GWAR video).
Joe (Anthony LaPaglia) the store manager is not having a very good day. Since Lucas screwed up he is trying to clean up the mess. All the while he is trying to keep the store from being bought by the chain store Musictown after which everyone working in the store will get fired.
To top the day off, the cheesy singer Rex Manning is coming to the store for a signing of his new album. The whole store thinks he’s a joke and makes fun of him the whole day.
The ending of the movie looks like it was so much fun, it is a high note that I wish every day could end on. The whole movie just makes me wish I could work in a record store with awesome people and an amazing boss who really cares.
Empire Records is a very fun movie to watch. Each character is someone you may know in real life they are all realistic in some ways. The ridiculousness of some of the situations just adds to the hilarity and fun. I had a good time seeing all these actors together before some of their careers really took off (Robin Tunney, Anthony LaPaglia, Johnny Whitworth, and Rory Cochran would all be on CBS shows throughout the ‘00s) and they were all silly and young. Give Empire Records a watch and see how good of a mood you are in afterwards.