I knew I had the basis of my first Pop Classic when FabUK posted her Back To Cool article, featuring the style of Liv Tyler playing Corey in the 1995 film Empire Records. This movie has been a firm favourite of mine since I rented it out on VHS years ago, without a clue who the actors were. At the time, all I saw were a bunch of weird kids working in a cool record store, and I loved it. As everything 90s is back right now — as seen in The Wackness, a resurgence of plaid shirts and the return of Take That, among other things — I really don't think there's any better time to look back at this film!
The cast is made up of a bunch of well-known and familiar faces, including Liv Tyler as Corey, Renee Zellweger as wild child Gina, Rory Cochrane as oddball Lucas, Ethan Embry as supersweet Mark, Anthony LaPaglia as store manager Joe, Robin Tunney as troubled Debra and gorgeous Johnny Whitworth as artist AJ.
To read more about the plot and my thoughts on the movie, as well as the trailer and a few fun clips just read more.
Here's the kind-of-cheesy 90s cinema trailer:
The plot goes like this: On the day that cheesy singer Rex Manning (Maxwell Caulfield) is coming to Empire Records to do a signing, the employees of the store have to band together to "save the Empire", as record store chain Music Town threaten to take over the independent music seller. As the day progresses they have to deal with a gun-toting shoplifter, hash brownie trips, plenty of teen heartache, fake funerals and a whole lot of air guitar, all in and around the store itself.
The movie is full of quotable lines, fun performances and comedic and teen-angsty setpieces, as well as featuring some really awesome music from AC/DC, Throwing Muses, Evan Dando, Edwyn Collins, Better Than Ezra and Flying Lizards. If you haven't seen it yet then I highly recommend it to rent or buy — if only to see Renee Zellweger pre-Bridget Jones! The film's been re-released (since its original bare bones DVD release) as a fanmix edition with extra scenes as part of the WHV List.
If you're a fan, then feel free to discuss the movie and your favourite / least favourite moments in the comments! Here's a few of my favourite clips — there are plenty more on YouTube!