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A clever comedy of errors with a sweet romance to boot!
Marco Brambilla's romantic crime-comedy Excess Baggage (1997) is a delightful riot with a ridiculous premise of a spoiled rich girl staging her own kidnapping to blackmail her father in order to punish him for his lack of affection for her, only to get actually kidnapped by a hapless car thief, whom she genuinely falls in love with as you could only write in the 1990's. Brambilla's direction combines iconic leads with a cute 90's alternative soundtrack and a playful attitude. He directs all the crime action like it's a film noir complete with driving a car at night through smoky fog, meanwhile, the romance drama is intimate and sincere in close conversations. Marco Brambilla's direction is so fun that he ends Excess Baggage with the couple making out in the trunk of a car. I only wish he got to direct more cool crime thrillers or another authentic romance feature.
Excess Baggage is a blast with a super fun vibe and clever script from Max D. Adams. His jokes consistently made me laugh with a very natural, laid back tone. Brambilla thrills you with a killer car chase, but his inventive style of directing hits you hardest with charming jokes. The action is engaging, but I was quite impressed by Adam's writing for an intricate crime plot with a lot of moving pieces. Furthermore, the romance is the sweet center to Excess Baggage's appeal. In the end, Excess Baggage is an seriously underrated and nearly forgotten comedy that's worth revisiting. I had a wonderful time with this picture.
Excess Baggage is so charming due to its two charismatic lead: Alice Silverstone and Benicio del Toro. Silverstone channels Cher from Clueless again as she recaptures her apathetic spoiled brat charm as Emily in Excess Baggage. She is gorgeous in Excess Baggage and really entertaining as a fierce black belt, unwilling truck passenger, and dreamy romantic lead. She flawlessly delivers hilarious dialogue of vitriol and annoyance towards Benicio del Toro's car thief in over his head. He is so charming and likable as a weirdo with his strange accent and whispery voice as he gets tortured by Silverstone's incessant character. Benicio could not be more handsome or sympathetic in Excess Baggage. His unique choices all culminate into a really intriguing character named Vincent.
Christopher Walken is odd as ever as Uncle Ray with a killer coldness about him and a deadly violent menace in his voice. Walken is interesting every second he is on screen. Jack Thompson is so mean as Emily's wealthy father in a fantastic "All the Money in the World" type performance. How could you not want to spend 1 million dollars to save Alicia Silverstone?! Nicholas Turturro is very funny as the mob thug Stick. Harry Connick Jr. is quirky as the foolish middle man in the car theft operation named Greg. Lastly, Leland Orser and Robert Wisden are likable as Detectives Barnaby and Sims.
Stephen V. Rifkin's editing is very sleek and punchy as he flawlessly transports you from one misunderstood criminal scenario to another. His cuts are very smooth with plenty of fast pacing for this quick 101 minute movie. Jean-Yves Escoffier's cinematography is really striking. He takes imagery from Thief and Heat and combines them with a grounded intimacy in rooms for the romance drama. All the smoky and seedy underbelly of crime movies is here in each wide shot, while all the close-ups are so cool and fit the romantic comedy aspects perfectly. It's cool to me that Excess Baggage has the same cinematographer as Good Will Hunting.
John Lurie's jazz score is awesome. He captures a relaxed and breezy atmosphere for the romantic passages, while creating an exciting and dark ambiance for the criminal activity herein. It's neat to hear him compose a moody jazz score for Excess Baggage since the movie itself is such silly entertainment.
In addition to the phenomenal score, Excess Baggage boasts killer outfits to make you feel like you're in Seattle in the 90's. Beatrix Aruna Pasztor's costumes are so cute for Alicia Silverstone. Her yellow leather jacket, checkered shirt, cowboy pants, and raccoon eye make-up are sublime choices for Silverstone's feisty character Emily. Benicio del Toro's outfits of black leather, red jackets, dark suits, and erratic hair all make his character feel more real. Similarly, Missy Stewart and Richard Hudolin's production design sees them create a luxury mansion and a dirty car garage alike for Excess Baggage. I love how they adorn Benicio del Toro's stolen car warehouse with all manner of gadgets and gizmos to make it look more real like he's living in the Trainspotting world.
In all, Excess Baggage is a fantastic film that doubles as a crime drama and a romantic comedy with effortless ease. Alicia Silverstone and Benicio del Toro have such fun chemistry as they argue for the comedy, but feel genuine during the romance drama that you're captivated by them both at all times. Excess Baggage is a must revisit motion picture!
Very strange kind of romantic comedy. Who thought these two were av appropriate pair...? Well, it's okay. Not bad, but nothing special.
Boring, terrible... Overall not good. Best thing about this flick is Christopher Walken.
I don't know why this has such a low rating. It's was an awesome movie.
Definitely a guilty pleasure of mine, and also kind of a "so bad it's funny" movie!
A very young Benicio Del Toro... & in a rom-com.
The film has its moments but overall its very stupid in its approach to create a great entertaining value in its story, I found this film to be very annoying in its style of comedy and romance between two thief's who start falling for each other as the story develops and I especially didn't like the crime value and the narrative style of the film which felt childish and to over the top and almost every scene in this film shows the actors trying to be tough when there actually quite weak and damaging the story by the unrealistic qualities the film has to give. Its very slow over hyped and the action is very slow and the film just delivers nothing to be excited about.
What a silly little 90s movie.
Entertaining for the most part but the main characters both were very strange characters
Dumb but I guess it's supposed to be just a stupid little comedy. Not really that interesting though.