Film: Empire Records
Debra: I guess nobody really has it all together.
Debra: I feel like I should welcome you to the neighborhood or something.A movie about a Cloud Cuckoo Lander, a Harvard-bound overachiever, a fun-loving Vamp, two stoners, a laid-back artist and a troubled young woman. They work at a record store under the aegis of a Benevolent Boss and a not-so-benevolent owner. An aging singer is visiting for the day. They must save the store, make discoveries about themselves, and rock out to the very best of mid-nineties alternative music.
Tropes used in this film:
- Accidental Misnaming: Warren, whose real name is never revealed. He kind of brought it on himself by being a smart-ass and giving his name as "Warren Beatty"... Then everyone who was present for his attempted shoplifting immediately started calling him Warren, and it caught on enough that people who weren't around at the time genuinely thought that was in fact his name.
- By the end of the movie, he's accepted it; the ID card the store issues him as a new employ reads "Hi, my name is Warren".
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: Mark wants to start a band called Marc.
- Aside Glance: At the beginning, just after Lucas loses the store's money at the craps table, he looks at the camera and asks aloud, "I wonder if I'll be held responsible for this?"
- Attending Your Own Funeral: The employees host a fake funeral for Debra to show how much they love her. It only sort of makes more sense in context.
- Bowdlerise: The version of Coyote Shivers' "Sugarhigh" performed in the film includes a couple of significantly toned-down lyrics: "they all said she's just another groupie slut" becomes "they all say life's just a bowl of cherries, but..." and "when I lick between your thighs" becomes "I wanna kiss myself goodbye". The version included on the soundtrack album uses the uncensored lyrics.
- Bare Your Midriff: Corey's sweater which shows off her midriff... rather contradicting when you think of it.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Lucas addresses the camera a few times throughout the movie.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Mark and Lucas. (Although it's implied that Lucas's is a recent case.)
- Cooldown Hug: Happens twice, one right after the other. First while Gina the resident Good Bad Girl is freaking out. The second with Corey after her stress/revelation induced freakout. One of them is successful.
- Deadpan Snarker: Debra and Lucas.
(Joe is talking to the police after Warren has been collared for shoplifting)Joe: (to Warren) How old are you?Warren: Old enough to kick your butt through your skull and splatter your brains on the wall.Joe: (to the police) Yeah, he's a juvenile.
- Even Joe has his moments:
- Deleted Scene: A whole section on Rex Manning coming back and earning his redemption.
- Driven to Suicide: Debra tried to slit her wrists, rather half-heartedly, prior to the beginning of the film.
- Education Papa: Corey's father.
- Exact Words: Joe sits Lucas down on a break-room couch and orders him not to leave said couch. So once Joe leaves the room, Lucas gets up and wanders the store freely... while carrying a couch cushion under his arm.
- Fake American: Maxwell Caulfield as Rex Manning.
- Also, Anthony LaPaglia (He's Australian).
- Gender-Blender Name: Yes, Corey can be a girl's name too.
- Girlfriend in Canada:Lucas: *upon noticing his one stolen CD* Whitney Houston?Warren: It's for my girlfriend.Lucas: Yeah, right.
- Good Bad Girl: As mentioned above, Gina.
- Hadaka Apron: Gina, natch.
- Ice-Cream Koan: Lucas's wisdom.
- Important Haircut
- Ironic Echo: "Take care of yourself, Warren. Don't let the Man get you down."
- "Not *entirely* perfect."
- Le Parkour: Lucas
- Mama Bear: Joe.
- Mushroom Samba: "You play a mean guitar, Mark! It's really a shame that you must...DIE!"
- The Nineties: The movie just screams it.
- One-Hour Work Week: They seem to have incredibly long all day shifts, but at the same time, most of it is spent hanging out, dancing, listening to music, or performing grunge rock concerts on the roof.
- Semi-justified in that it's an event day, so it makes sense that every employee would be scheduled for at least part of the day (and some of them want to be there even if they don't have to be, and their manager is extremely lenient), and in that it's made clear that this is an atypical sort of work day in-universe.
- Only Sane Employee: Joe SCREAMS Liz Lemon Job, particularly when he breaks up the fight between Corey and Gina.
- Parental Abandonment
- The Power of Rock
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: The 90's grunge version of the wangsta himself, Warren.
- Rooftop Concert: The end of the movie features Coyote Shivers throwing a concert on the roof of the record store, giving Gina the chance to fulfill her dream of performing with a band.
- Rule of Cool: Sure, in reality it's against the law to perform concerts on top of roofs in a public area and the fine for it would likely exceed the money they earned, but that doesn't matter because it was cool.
- This is averted in an alternate ending on the DVD where everyone performing is arrested at the end. Including Rex Manning.
- Saving The World With Art: The film ends with the teens planning a music concert to "damn the man, save The Empire", which will also raise enough funds to save the store.
- Stalker with a Crush: Corey for Rex Manning.
- The Stoner: Eddie and Mark both fit.
- Those Two Guys: Eddie and Mark again.
- Stylistic Suck: Rex Manning's music video.
- Suddenly Shouting: "I'M BRINGING REX HIS LUNCH!!"
- Sweater Girl: Corey.
- Toyota Tripwire
- White-Dwarf Starlet: Rex Manning, a male singer variation.
- Why Did You Make Me Hit You?