‘Say No More, Mon Amour’ Petits Fours for Rex Manning Day

Today—April 8—has been a hallowed day for many Gen X- and Y-ers since 1995, and most of us have been unaware of it until now. But we mustn’t dwell, not today, because it’s Rex Manning Day!

empire records
If this momentous occasion is lost on you, you’re clearly not a fan of Empire Records: a movie I loved (and still love—”you! It’s still you!”) so much that I convinced a bunch of friends on my freshman hall in college to dress up as characters from the film on a random weekday—for the record, I was Mark—and typed up the entire screenplay dialogue while bedridden in my dorm room during a particularly boredom-inducing flu. Play, pause, type. Play, pause, type.

It’s such a 90’s movie with such a young-gun cast (Liv Tyler, Renee Zellweger, Rory Cochrane, Ethan Embry) and an equally nostalgic soundtrack (Gin Blossoms, Cranberries, Cracker, Throwing Muses, Sponge); a perfect time capsule of the era. Don’t believe me? Check out the original theatrical trailer. But who wouldn’t be won over by the romanticized notion of working—even if it is for The Man—with a bunch of friends and experiencing daily dramatic shenanigans like saving your gorgeous, independent record store from being consumed by corporate greed while hosting a past-his-prime, pompous pop star for an album signing and dealing with a skate-punk shoplifter who calls himself Warren Beatty? That’s what makes Empire Records and hence, Rex Manning Day so awesome, and because it’s a holiday, we must celebrate with food.

rex manning day
sexy rexy with gina
Though many things are consumed in Empire Records—beer, cigars, cupcakes (“Dad says there are 24 usable hours in every day, thank you!”), pizza, pot brownies, M&Ms, speed (“diet pills, oh, what a surprise?!”), the salad Rex attempts to eat as Corey attempts to seduce him—nothing seemed appropriate to build an edible homage around. So in lieu of bringing Rex his lunch, I baked a batch of “Say No More, Mon Amour” Petits Fours in honor of the man himself.

petit fours for rex manning day
It’s true that I came up with the idea based on name alone, since I love a good pun and a good rhyme, but then I realized that petits fours are the perfect dessert for Rex Manning. Basically a pain in the ass to deal with, coiffed, coddled, and manicured (helloooo, Rex’s wardrobe: satiny purple fringed shirt, black velvet jacket, and purple fringed pants!), sugar-pop-sweet and a little fruity; it all makes sense. Rex is a fancy, finicky French confection when it comes down to it.

I wouldn’t call these petits fours washed-up impostors because you are taking the time to make them from scratch, after all. But they do have a secret inside: thin layers of blueberry jam, as an homage to Rex’s navy blue Jockey briefs. Don’t leave them alone with Renee Zellweger if you value their virtue, if you know what I mean.

petit fours for rex manning day
Damn the Man. Save the Empire.

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  1. says

    Shock me, shock me, shock me with that deviant behavior, Casey. Why can’t we have a larger picture of that photo of you and your friends dressed up? I want that. Also, the theatrical trailer is quite spoilery, in my opinion, which is fantastic if you’re looking to relive the magic.

    My sister and I spent a good portion of our high school years watching and rewatching this movie. We still put it in our Christmas cookie movie rotation, dancing around my kitchen with floured hands and powder sugar on every surface as A.J.’s repeated attempts to profess his love for Corey misfire again and again.

    • Casey BarberCasey Barber says

      Shaina, you get me, you really do. Though I’m afraid my friends might sue me if I put a larger version of that photo on the internet for everyone to see!