Wednesday Rewind: Empire Records by @destroytheearth

You may have rejected Empire Records out of hand as being the refuge of greebos who haven't moved on from the 90s.

The truth, however, is that it's the best Kevin Smith film that Kevin Smith didn't make. It's also a film that will worm it's way into a special place in your heart. Hit the jump to find out why.

The first thing to attract you to the film is the cast of then-unknowns who would go on to be superstars; or at least, "that guy/girl from..." Liv Tyler never looked more gorgeous; Robin Tunney shows the depth that would later keep her from breaking Hollywood; Anthony LaPaglia offers a different side from his Without A Trace dealings as an ageing musician bowing to The Man; Grease 2's Maxwell Caulfield would later end up in Casualty and Emmerdale; Rory Cochrane busted slightly more serious crooks with a slightly-fatter disposition on CSI: Miami; and Renee Zellweger uses her profound talents as an irritating cow to play an irritating cow fantastically.

The music has something for everyone, whether you're a fan of David Hasselhoff, thinly-disguised as "Rex Manning", or if you've heard of Gwar, this is a film that celebrates your love of whatever music it is you love. Furthermore, it reminds your heart of the joy of heading to an actual music store and flicking through the albums, back when you couldn't hear anything you want on MTV or download the most obscure music in a flash; and, aah, mix tapes....

Above all else, what sticks with you in this lovesong to hanging out with your friends, is those perfect moments of idiosyncrasy that punctuate our descent into adulthood. Those crazy times that made the few years you had between being old enough to do what you want and no longer young enough to get away with it, so beautiful.

Once seen, you won't forget Joe opening a can of whoopass on Lucas; taking out Warren; Mark's trip; Deb's funeral; even [shame] Gina's solo; but above all else, my personal favourite: "We mustn't dwell... no, not today. We CAN'T. Not on Rex Manning Day."

Hearing all this, you may be surprised (or not) to hear that the critics hated the film and it flopped at the box office; not that it matters, the film found its home as a cult favourite on video, which could not be more perfect. This is not a film that will win any awards, but it is a masterclass in heart and character.

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