with the recent release of the special edition dvd of this film, i'd suggest you go watch it. yeah, this movie is a light, fluffy gen-x teen movie with its music video moments. however, what was eight years ago just a normal teen movie has gained some semblance of social relevance -- compared to today's teen movies, this film can be seen as some sort of masterpiece.
for one thing, you never see films anymore where teens are actually fighting for something except for a date to the prom. the characters in empire records, yes, are submerged in their overdramatic romantic escapades, but their main prerogative in the film is to prevent a large corporation from buying out their independent record store. are there films that spark that kind of activist spirit in middle- and high- schoolers today? no. we're going backwards.
also, the humor in this film offers up some absurdist wit, which you never find in teen movies now. a kid glues some quarters to the floor so he can laugh at the poor saps who later try desperately to pick them up. a shoplifting teenager gives the fake name of 'warren beatty'. do kids today even know who warren beatty is? i doubt it.
this film was made in 1995, right before many of the laws allowing corporations to buy and control multiple media outlets were passed. the years since '96 have shown us a homogenization of music and movies, especially in the teen sphere, and it is turning today's teens into a bunch of celebrity-obsessed idiots.
compared to your sons and daughters, the kids in empire records can be now seen as role models.