I think I have lost track of the number of times I watched this movie between 1996 and 1998. One of the two movies on the infamous “Happy Tape” that was not directed by Kevin Smith, it was definitely a favorite among my friends. I think part of that is the fact that the DQ was ran kind of like Empire Records, at least on the shifts that I ran. Essentially, we had a lot of fun while we worked, I was probably the slackest manager there, and I will admit that my friends would take advantage of that. Man, I really was like Joe. Anyways, on to today’s movie, Empire Records.
The plot: Lucas, the night manager of Empire Records, has found out that Empire Records is in danger of becoming part of the Musictown franchise. He takes the day’s receipts and heads to Atlantic City in the hopes of making more money to save the store, but he winds up losing it all. The next day is completely hectic as aside from the normal hassles of their everyday customers, the Empire Records employees must also deal with an autograph signing by an has been rock star, a shoplifting kid with an attitude problem, and the owner of the store breathing down their necks for his money. As all of their personal problems start coming to light, the employees must find a way to save their store at the last minute.
On the surface, this didn’t do very well at the box office and only has a 24% rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes. But it does have somewhat of a cult classic status and based on the average person’s review, most people like this movie. Personally I think this is a great movie to watch, as evidenced by the fact that it was on the Happy Tape. I knew full well that the movie was going to have a bunch of teenage angst and drama in it, that is just about every movie involving teenagers. But I liked that the problems all seemed to focus on the kids trying to figure out their future plans and towards the end, most of them had figured out what they were going to do. Hooray for happy resolution. I also liked the dynamic between the all the actors as it did showcase what it is like in that sort of work place. Of course, what movie involving a music related scene is complete without a great soundtrack. There were a lot of great songs used in this movie, too bad not all of them made it onto the soundtrack. All in all, a solid teenage centered comedy.
So if life is bringing you down, then damn the man and watch this movie
Rating: 4 out of 5