The next morning the store’s employees start to show up. Among them is Mark (Ethan Embry) who finds out what Lucas did, but covers for him. Joe can’t spend the time to track down what happened because he’s got to prepare for an appearance from a musical star, Rex Manning (Maxwell Caulfield), who is coming to the store to perform. One of the female employees, Corey Mason (Liv Tyler), has decided she is going to lose her virginity before going to Harvard in the fall and that Rex is the one she is going to lose it to. She asks for advice from her more experienced counter-mate Gina (Renee Zellweger in an early career appearance). She tells Corey to go for it. It turns out Gina is dating an older musician named Berko (Coyote Shivers). Gina would really like to sing in a band, maybe even Berko’s, but she has never had the courage to try. FYI – at the time of filming Shivers was married to Bebe Buell, Liv Tyler’s mother, so even though he is only about ten years older than Liv, he was her stepfather.
A third young woman, Debra (Robin Tunney) shows up for work, goes into the bathroom, and shaves her head. At first the other kids are thrown by this, and also by the new bandages on her wrists, but they seem to shrug and go about their day, except for A.J. (Johnny Whitworth) who digs deeper. A.J.’s not interested in Debra romantically, though; he pines for Corey. When Manning does arrive, accompanied by his agent Jane (Debi Mazar), he turns out to be an asshole of the first order. Needless to say, Corey’s plan for how she would give her virginity to Rex does not go as she fantasized. She takes it out on Gina, and in retaliation Gina seduces Rex to show how easy it is. Things escalate with the two girls revealing many things that they know about each other. Meanwhile, this is preventing A.J. from telling Corey how he feels. Mixed in with all of this is the world’s worst shoplifter (Brendan Sexton III) visiting the store. (Reportedly, a pre-stardom Tobey Maguire also had a role in this film, but his scenes were cut for the theatrical release.)
So let’s see, we’ve got a store about to be sold to a soulless chain, a lost day’s receipts, a visit from a musical star who’s a jerk, an attempt to lose virginity, a breakdown between two friend’s relationship, a girl who may have tried to commit suicide, an unrequited and unspoken love, a woman who wants to be a singer, a shoplifter causing some disruptions, and a harried manager trying to stay on top of everything, all while having the owner breathing down his neck about the receipts from the day before. Will it all work out for the best? Surprisingly for
, not all of it does. Hollywood
In a movie about a record store there is obviously going to be a lot of music played and the soundtrack for this film reads like a who’s who of 90’s bands – The Gin Blossoms, Cracker, Dishwalla, Better Than Ezra, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Throwing Muses, The Cranberries, Daniel Johnston, GWAR, Sponge, and many others. Caulfield does his own singing, and Zellweger, long before she was ever in the musical
, sings on screen in this film. Chicago
This movie has some good laughs, but it also has a lot of heart to it. Everyone really functions as a large, dysfunctional, extended family, with all the attendant laughs and tears that go along with it. If this sounds interesting, then I recommend you give this film a try.
Chip’s Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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