• April 13, 2024

When exactly is Rex Manning Day? 2023

Rex Manning Day has arrived. It’s a celebration of defiance and faith. Rex Manning Day is the perfect time to remind yourself why life is worth living by losing your virginity, singing in a band, shaving your head, risking it all on a roll of the dice, quitting your awful boss, or finally confessing your love for the girl you’ve been pining over (preferably by 1:37 pm). Take your sofa cushion and shock me with such aberrant conduct.

Empire Records fans’ inner joke has become popular. In 24 hours, the independent record store employees must fight a gun-toting shoplifter, a forgotten pop singer and his admirers, their demeaning boss, and their own personal issues to keep their business from becoming a Music Town franchise. Due to a timeless song, great language, and an all-star ensemble that includes Renée Zellweger, Liv Tyler, Anthony LaPaglia, Ethan Embry, Debi Mazar, Rory Cochrane, Johnny Whitworth, and Robin Tunney, the film became a cult classic after a box office disappointment. Rex Manning?

Rex Manning?

He’s Maxwell Caulfield’s imaginary 1980s youthful hero turned humiliating has-been who comes to Empire Records to sign autographs for his new hit, “Say No More (Mon Amour). Despite its cringeworthy, innuendo-filled lyrics, “Oh Rexy, You’re so hot!” is a popular tune. Caulfield, famed for Grease 2, sings the song himself. The song video features awkward dance steps, bad attire, and a beach four-poster bed.

Rex is tacky and antiquated, and most of the film’s characters despise him—including himself, given his fragile ego and obsession with his image. His supporters, a few parents and campy LGBT males, confront him with his irrelevance at every meet and greet. After humiliating his lone fan Corey (Tyler) and leaving her in tears, Rex sleeps with her closest friend Gina (Zellweger) before being fired from the business.

Rex Manning Day honors Kurt Cobain, who died on April 8 in 1994, a year before the film was released. Misfits and music fans worldwide lost their mascot with Cobain’s death. Cobain’s true grunge character matches the personnel of the namesake business, unlike Manning’s newly coiffed, puffy-shirted commercial pop music that a corporate store would love to promote. Honoring an alternative creative vision and the original teen spirit is the right way to commemorate coming of age.

Dammit Man, Save Empire

Given the film’s anachronism, the internet’s adoration of it and its message is a delightful irony. In a 24/7 internet environment, fans rush to media channels owned by billionaires and mega-corporations to recall a movie whose fundamental message was to damn the man, live for yourself, and not sell out. The film’s message may be more relevant today because of this. Empire Records urges people to “always play with their brains” and not be constrained by society. It celebrates nostalgia, growing up, tactile media, and the present. Whatever you celebrate, remember that you have 24 useable hours each day and don’t need to explain your work to anybody.

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