I was very excited to listen when I saw the movie you were reviewing, because I love Empire Records and have watched it many times. Like Rob, I could quote generously from it without prompting. Like Patrick, I have used the "Shock Me" line in many contexts. I acknowledge its flaws, but for me this movie still gives me so many quotable lines, goofy but loveable characters, awesome music, and the VIBES, bro! Having worked at a record store myself, I will both acknowledge that this is nothing like real life but also how I sometimes wished things went in real life. High Fidelity comes closer but still isn't really accurate to my experiences at a music retail establishment. For me, Renee Zellweger is the MVP but Ethan Embry is a close second. Oh, and Rob's explanation of the scene with Rex Manning and Liv Tyler from the Remix edition is very close, but a key detail is that it's not ranch dressing but Blue Cheese Dressing that Rex pours on his junk. I remember this distinctly because he then turns to Liv Tyler and says, "I hope you like the taste of blue cheese!" which is truly one of the grossest lines/scenarios ever. Fun show as always, and despite you coming down harder on the movie than I do, I completely understand why it does not work for everyone.
Lucas was my favorite, too. I think I recognized he was the most movie-like character. He would be really fun IRL but someone like him only exists in movies. I have the SAME feelings about Lucas and Joe! As a kid, their relationship was what I would have wished was real (for me) the most. Also, I relate to Joe as an adult now and sometimes want to glue my kids...mouths closed. Ha! No, just kidding, I value student voice... Ethan Embry, who I thought was harmless and cute, never registered to me as stoned, in spite of the pot references. He has way too much energy! Deb was my other favorite, too. Idk, I liked the funeral scene and thought it was sweet.My only huge annoyance with this otherwise super watchable movie is the AJ & Liv Tyler relationship- they're like best friends and he's so in love with her and at the same time, he can act totally normal around her, as if he can just turn on or turn off his crush? Whaaat. And then she un-friendzones him in one instant? I thought- this movie knows we all want those things but they will never happen. (Sorry to anyone for whom that's actually happened - I've just never seen it).