"Damn the Man, Save the Empire!"
Today marks the twentieth anniversary of Empire Records' release, or, more specifically, Rex Manning Day. The day that the fluffy-haired creeping-crooner came to town and sent a virginal Liv Tyler and a not-so-virginal Renée Zellweger into an almost friendship destroying battle to get inside his pants. But not only that, it was the day that we tried to save one of the coolest independent record stores on the planet from a big corporate takeover.
The plot to Empire Records was pretty straightforward; one of the employees (Lucas, played by Rory Cochrane) discovers the store is being sold while closing up one night. In a doomed attempt to do the right thing, he heads to Atlantic City with the hope of winning enough cash to buy it back. Predictably, he doesn't and rather loses everything, completely ballsing up the bosses pre-existing buy-out plan. The rest of the story circles around the team members and their differing ideals: Save the Empire vs. Rex Manning Day.
As Rex Manning clearly sucked, I'd be on the side of the Empire... which I'm sure you'd be too if your workplace was that awesome:
Described as the Breakfast Club in a record store, Empire Records gave us a bunch of teenage misfits in a variety of characters that pretty much all high schoolers could (and still can) relate too. You had the good girl, the 'slutty' girl, the gothy girl, an artist boy, an adorable weirdo, a beatnik, a too-cool rocker, a hippy stoner and a wannabe. Plus, there was an abundance of awesome outfits, a cute romantic sub-story AND it all ended with a concert on the store's roof. As far as '90s movies go, it doesn't really get better than that!
Empire Records was released twenty years ago in 1995 and some of the cast have gone on to become household names, thanks to falling in love with a Fellowship of the Ring leader or falling into a bottomless pit of ice-cream a la Renee in Bridget Jones's Diary. But what are the rest of the cast up to now? Let's take a look...