Empire Records (1995)by Allan Moyle.
One fine day, Lucas, a record store employee is given the task to close the shop. Of course it is a big responsibility but it also gives him the opportunity of exploring his workplace in depth. That implies looking into the secret files of his boss. As the vinyl industry is at stake, already in the 90’s, the manager is offered a deal to sell his shop to a bigger name. This terrifies the young employee and he decides to take the company’s money to a casino to gain a larger amount in order to keep his workplace safe. Having too much confidence in his luck, he bets all of it and loses. Hence the savings are lost and the whole movie is about trying to find this amount again.
Not only does this movie show the implications of capitalism on music industries but it also portrays the generation of the 90’s. The characters here range from the high-school sweetheart, to the pothead, to a sadly more suicidal teenager. Each have their musical tastes and life settings but somehow are united by music. The 90’s were a very dark, grungy, experimental decade and the younger generations had to find ways to fill their lives with hope. The clumsiness of Lucas brought the whole group of employees closer together as they strive to make things work out.
Gina: Well “Sinead O’Rebellion.” Shock me shock me shock me with that deviant behavior.
Debra: God, that is so clever. I swear you get smarter the shorter your skirt gets.
Gina: And you get smarter the shorter your hair gets, so it’s probably a good thing you went with that. It’s a wonderful look for you darling.
Mainly shot in the record shop, the movie is directed as a sort of musical comedy. Music is omnipresent and the tastes of each and everyone of the members taste is taken into consideration. Also, let us not forget to mention the great choice of cast including Liv Tyler, Renée Zellweger, Johnny Whitworth, Debi Mazer or Anthony LaPaglia!