I can’t fully express what Empire Records means to me. It’s my favorite movie of all time, and has been since I was 10. That summer, the summer of 1998, my sisters and brother and I watched this movie every single day. That’s not an exaggeration. Literally, every single day. Sometimes more than once. I know every scene, every line, every word. And it still makes me laugh and makes me sad every time I watch it.
The summer that I first saw Empire Records was a rough one for my family. Our home (which had been my mother’s childhood home, as well) was burned very badly, and we had to move into a small, cramped house while ours was being cleaned, repaired, and rebuilt. I was in the house when it caught fire, and the experience was traumatic. I still am not fully over it, 16 years later.
One of the things my siblings did to try to keep my mind (and theirs, probably) off our situation was to watch movies. (I don’t even know if they realized how much this helped me work past the fire. Probably not, but it meant the world. I digress…) My sister suggested that we watch Empire one day, and since I thought she hung the moon, I gladly agreed. We watched and I laughed, though I obviously didn’t catch all the jokes. Again, I was 10.
But then we watched it again. And again. And again. And it got funnier and more touching and just… better with each and every viewing. I’m sure this is going to sound trite, but it’s not at all a stretch for me to say that Empire Records saved me that summer. Dealing with Corey, AJ, Lucas, Joe, Deb, Mark, Gina, Rex and all of THEIR problems for an hour and half meant that I didn’t have to think about my own for an hour and a half.
I don’t know if I would love Empire as much if I had seen it at a different time in my life. I’d like to think so, but I’ll never know. It came in when I needed it. I highly, HIGHLY recommend you give it a watch. I’ve probably oversold it. It’s kind of on a pedestal in my mind. You might hate it; I truly hope you don’t. I know it’s not perfect, but it’s perfect for me.
(The workers of Empire Records would hate this post. They are so much cooler than this.)