Excess Baggage (1997) Poster

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A sweet and funny romantic comedy...and a sweet and funny Benicio
passetemps30 March 2003
This was much better than what I expected.Since it had such poor reviews,I rented the video only to watch my new favorite actor, Benicio Del Toro .I was actually pleasantly surprised at how good he was in a romantic comedy.He should do these more often! He has proved himself in serious roles already, but I think he can be a very refreshing lead in romantic roles. Haven't we seen enough Hugh Grant movies yet? I wont' go into details about the plot,which had an interesting start but looked like it wasn't sure where it was headed at the end.Then again, a movie starring Alicia Silverstone can't be expected to be so plot-conscious...If you're a fan of Benicio, you'll enjoy his unique debonaire charm in this movie.For once, he doesn't look that intense or sad, and we can really feel the tenderness behind his half-smile...I might not be such an objective viewer, but this movie is such a nice distraction from the Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock romantic comedies...
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Misunderstood movie--well worth seeing.
dalenberg24 December 2001
Excess Baggage was a joy. Alicia Silverstone is gorgeous, bratty, and fun. Benicio del Toro is frumpy and totally unlike any other leading man ever. Unfortunately, this film seems to have been misunderstood in a big way, by the audience, by reviewers, and by the people I saw it with. But, it's worth another look.
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Surprisingly sexy...great chemistry between Silverstone and Del Toro
rebeccanoel28 May 2003
I rented this movie on a whim last night, and I was very pleasantly surprised! The plot is entertaining, but what I really loved about this flick is that Silverstone and Del Toro have an odd - yet amazing - chemistry on screen. Most of their intimacies are left to the imagination, but I thought that made it even hotter! I noticed there was a comment on imdb about the writing being sophomoric (or something to that effect), specifically the line, "Do you like my tummy?" I thought it was very sweet and REAL. It's one of those silly conversations that makes them believable. Definitely worth the rent...and the buy (I'm purchasing it ASAP!).
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"Come on, come on; come on come on come on..."
jpschapira1 September 2006
What are the requisites for a person to like a movie? I can't tell, but I ask because a friend of mine told me she had watched a little bit of this film and then stopped because it was bad; and I found it truly entertaining, funny and charming. I've said a lot of times that I love romantic comedies…I still do, you know? "Excess Baggage" is an unexpected little romantic comedy that finds amusement in the strangest places. First off, the way the two leads meet. She is faking a kidnapping an hides in the trunk of a car waiting to be found; he is a car thief and steals that car, takes it to his garage and discovers that someone is making noise…This scene is fantastic because the thief acts like he doesn't understand, and when he discovers it is only a girl, he gets scared.

The girl is Emily Hope: "All I wanted in a father is a person who cared and valued his daughter", she says at the beginning of the film. She is portrayed by Alicia Silverstone as a grown person who hasn't really grown up and does mischief to get her millionaire father angry; because she knows he can spend any amount of money to find her anywhere. Her perception is right, and Silverstone's ability of going crazy helps the development of her character. I'd like to add that Silverstone's had a short career and she was discovered because of Aerosmith (she looked nice in that video); but she's got it.

But the best development is the relationship between Emily and the thief; they start with the wrong foot because neither of them understands how they ended up in the situation they're living, but soon they have to deal with the fact that they look good together and that probably each of them is the part that's missing in the other one. Old question: Can two people fall in love after two days of being together? This movie makes it believable.

Congratulations to Max D. Adams, the only story he ever created, he did it a perfect job. In stories like these is very flexible to keep a loyal viewer engaged with the plot line. Adams, alongside Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais ("Goal!") present the girl-father relationship but are smart enough not to loose focus in what's going on with Emily and the thief. They also put the lead male in a financial trouble bringing funny performances from Nicholas Turturro and Harry Connick Jr; and chose the best person to look out for Emily: Christopher Walken, who end up a step away of stealing the show: the thief does that.

Who is the thief? He is called Vincent and the actor who portrays him has done every type of film and played every type of character including one that lies among the best performances I've ever seen. As this movie went along, I was observing his performance carefully because it appeared similar to something I've seen before; but I couldn't discover it. Maybe it was a character he played, and that's why I'm convinced there's no one like Benicio Del Toro. His performance here finds him always beaten down, but still being able of finding the charm his character requires. "What a view", he says, and only he says it.

The director of the film, Marco Brambilla, showed Stallone the way in "Demolition Man", was in charge of this and then of the marvelous miniseries "Dinotopia". He gives "Excess Baggage" the kind of eye it requires; comprehensive and caring. He sees the chemistry between the leads and takes advantage of it in the best way possible.

I'm a fan of both of the leads…And by the way, I stick to my beliefs about romantic comedies.
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A definite thumbs up!!
kezw1715 August 2002
I really enjoyed this movie. It had a really 'feel good' theme and left me wanting more. It reminded me of an old romantic movie where the guy always gets the girl. Benicio Del Toro was excellent, he really made the role his own, like it was written with him in mind. Any other actor wouldn`t have worked. Let`s just hope we see a lot more of him in the future. Fair enough, the plot wasn`t exactly rocket science, but the story was told really well and watching it was a real escape from everyday life.

I would recommend this film to everyone (although maybe the romantics out there would probably appreciate it the most!!). Although Alicia Silverstone played her part well, Del Toro, with his simple, bumbling ways, really made the movie for me. Definitely A*
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Much better the second time.
erin_r_2002_200119 September 2000
I saw this movie a couple of years ago when my sister and her friends rented it. I remember thinking it was strange, but that's all. I came across it in the video store last night and was curious as to why I couldn't remember much about it. Well let me tell you, I'm glad I tried it again. The movie isn't great, the story drags a bit in the middle, and the two mob guys weren't the least bit scary. I also had a hard time with Silverstone's portrayal of Emily, who I understand was supposed to be a "troubled teen", but whose behavior was so unbelievably bad that I felt only distaste for her instead of the expected sympathy. But Walken and Del Toro are absolutely marvelous. They made it completely worth watching. Walken is his usual sinister self, but at the same time manages to make his Uncle Ray character seem very fatherly and concerned for Emily. In fact, they could have done away with the rather weak father altogether and nobody would even have noticed. Del Toro is fascinating as the shy, befuddled Vincent. Everything that came out of his mouth made me laugh, and you've got to like anyone who can see the good in a whiny wretch like Emily. He turns out to be exactly what she needs, and by the end of the movie she had mellowed so much that I didn't even hate her anymore. Watch for the scenes in the hotel room and next morning by the lake where the tentative lovers make a surprisingly touching connection. This was the best five minutes of the movie for me. All in all, a simple but fairly sweet movie, made better by the outstanding, endearing performances by the two male leads. Don't go into it expecting too much, and you'll have fun with this little bit of fluff that far too many people have been scared away from because of the bad reviews. Just give it a chance. Trust me.
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Pleasant, fun comedy, nothing more or less
dedjim17 September 2003
Lots of dissing for both Alicia and Benicio but it seems disingenuous. This is not a profound film but it IS a fun one. Nice photography, a plot that has a good rhythm and tempo, engaging characters that are well acted and clever film devices (for one, the conflict regarding her smoking that set up the plot complication in the first place). Walken is great as usual as a character both scary AND endearing. Spark a blunt, open a beer and enjoy this silly but fun little flick.
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Not as bad as all that
smatysia19 December 2001
Not as bad as some people make it out to be. Alicia Silverstone is as beautiful as ever. And Christopher Walken played his typecast dangerous dude role the way he always does. Yes, the plot had some good sized holes in it. The film is meant to be light entertainment and it made that mark. That doesn't mean it's great or anything. I couldn't recommend spending money on this unless you're a hard-core Silverstone fan. But if it comes on cable, it's an OK hour and forty. Grade: C-
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Best relationship development with Silverstone and Del Toro
psychcowboy5 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
A lot of films try to develop a relationship between characters that viewers can hope for, believe in, and have sympathy for. Take Sleepless in Seattle for example. Excess Baggage worked for me better on that level than even Sleepless; the heat and romantic tension between Silverstone and Del Toro creep up on you much more subtly than Sleepless, and to a stronger point. The scene by the lake where Silverstone says 'do you like my belly' was such understated power and so far from cliché it really hooked me. Likewise the main soundtrack song All Mixed Up is great. Then there is Christopher Walken; he keeps his sinister capabilities remarkably under wraps until you surmise that he throws a thug out a window, without actually seeing it.
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Funny and cute movie
AJ_AlS17 April 2016
I usually agree with general reviews of a movie, but I am honestly confused as to why this film has such a low rating. Romantic comedies are not even the type of films I like watching, but despite all that I really enjoyed watching Excess Baggage. The relationship between the main characters developed nicely in my opinion. I didn't find it cheesy or overly cliché either. It was hilarious, especially scenes with Benicio Del Toro, which is mostly due to the way his character behaves. Benicio's character was very unlike any other male love interest that I had ever seen, in a good way.

Over all, this isn't a film to take too seriously. It is fun to watch, with weird but funny scenes. I'd even watch it again. The low rating should definitely be ignored.
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statuskuo21 January 2015
There is a touching moment that Walken brings to this movie that transcends the material. It's a strange Walken-esque love that only he can muster. And it runs deep for the character of Emily.

This was my college girlfriend and I's favorite movie, because it was so off-beat. Like our relationship. It is clearly an agenda movie for Silverstone (as she is also the producer). Something about a father/daughter misunderstanding, cold and distant relationship that some actresses tend to gravitate to. It exists in this movie. There are a lot of "precious" moments. And a lot of nostalgia looking back at it now. Is it a good movie? Yes. It's not's great, but it is entertaining.

The chemistry between Benicio & Silverstone is a bit weird at times. Curious to know what in the original script drew Del Toro to the part (as he is known to be elusive to commercial movies).

It is a decent time wasting movie on a slow night.
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First Movie I Watched In 2009...PERFECT!!!
iluvmymom19876 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, so people might think I'm crazy for voting this 10 out of 10. The usual response and comment everywhere I look seems to be a negative one. But I was sitting here the other night, we just moved into a new house. I love the new environment, and I was ready for the new year. I was up late, as always, and this movie came on TBS. I had just watched Clueless with Alicia in, and I thought if I could stay awake long enough, I would watch this. I love Walken and Silverstone, but had never seen Toro in much. So I started watching it. I thought at first it was funny, hilarious, and enthralling. The way the girl tied herself up and put herself in the trunk, and was extorting her dad for money. I first thought she really wanted the money. Then I figured out it didn't matter, she wanted attention. It was a cry for help. Then I see sexy del Toro steal the car and freak out when he opened the trunk and saw her in there. The scene where Uncle Ray (Walken) saw she framed her fire news article...was hilarious and brilliant. And the scene at Knotty Pines where she said "you don't have to be drunk to kiss me"...and he said "I'm not drunk"...absolutely brilliant. Not too much love scene, then the scene the next morning by the lake was touching. I loved it whenever he's talking to her dad, and he says, "Are you telling me I've only known this girl two days and already I care more about her than you do?" Wonderful. And the scene at the end of the movie...I TOTALLY knew he was in the trunk. And they're sitting there in the trunk and he says "what a view"..she says "What makes it a view?" he says "You" and then Dave Matthews starts playing "Crash Into Me"...perfect song, then he goes to kiss her and he does that "come on, come on, come on, come on, come on" thing...and they close the trunk. Perfect ending. Okay, so I loved the movie. I think that's clear. But if any person watched this and hated it, they need to go back and watch it again without thinking too hard about it. You won't hate it then!
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Not that bad....
icecream-222 May 2000
I read quite a few reviews around the time this film was released and they were all very negative towards it. Don't ask me why I rented it (probably in a moment of maddness) cos I had very low expectations of what it was going to be like but actually I didn't think it was that bad a film... I like Benicio Del Toro - if you don't like him or can't get to grips with the way he speaks etc then your probably instantly going to hate this film - I think he is an interesting character in real life and I think he made this film a little more interesting too... Silverstone was just basically Silverstone - I feel sorry for her its been pretty much down hill since Clueless, shes always playing these richgirl/brat characters there is no real variety..but shes ok - nothing special - Walken was as usual solid as a rock, Harry Connick Jnr cracked me up for some reason I thought he was funny! Plot - I could see where it wanted to go but it didn't quite get there - it wasnt quite clever enough - I don't think it was a fabulous film by any means but compare it to Batman and Robin? Speed 2? Its not as bad as that! Rent it if you are a Benicio/Alicia/Walken fan but otherwise you'll probably just feel robbed...
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Don't be put off
CarolineT10 August 2002
Don't be put off by the negative comments you may have read, this is a lighthearted enjoyable film. It's more a romantic drama than a comedy however and those expecting a comedy will probably be disappointed. While it is not the best film ever made it will certainly entertain you on a rainy day.
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Oh come on, who doesn't love crazy romance...
icpsbaby4ever1724 March 2005
I have to admit, there was something really undefined I loved about this movie. Yeah the script needed a little work, and maybe the actors could have done a tit bit of a better job. But overall it really touched me in that sweet/sadistic way.

I mean that's what we all want right? To be cared about, and it just shows how far sometimes people will go for it. And OH YEAH Benicio Del Toro is such a triple threat.. He's extremely hot, He's Italian and he's an amazing actor. So whatever movie you put him in, it has a really good chance of touching someone. Overall I give this movie a 7. I think it deserves at least that.
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the decline of a teenage role model
adrian-1514 December 1998
I rented this movie thinking that everybody had been too hard on poor Alicia, who had been wonderful in Clueless and sexy in many an Aerosmith video. I was wrong. It might have been due in part to the non-existent script, but Alicia showed no screen presence at all. Instead, she smoked and drank during the entire flick (is this the moviemakers' attempt to appeal to the teenage crowd this movie is aimed at??). Benicio del Toro's performance was all right, even though (or: because) he seemed to think he was in a remake to the 'Usual Suspects'. In all, if you see only a hundred movies this year, don't let this one be one of them.
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Excess Baggage
kkaraba-172-2415861 September 2016
Since Alicia had just done "Clueless" I guess they thought the plot would be easier to swallow. Not really, but I love this movie and watch it at least once or twice a year. This movie has a great cast, ridiculous plot, but great chemistry between the stars. Alicia is the spoiled rich girl who has everything but love and then she meets Benicio, the lovable car thief. Benicio has acted in so many serious movies over the years, playing this character(Che) and that character(Sicario)(21 Grams) etc., that playing a car thief with an absolutely charming personality is almost a relief. It's a romantic comedy/drama with a very young Alicia and Benicio in his absolute prime. Love it.
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Cool film with great supporting cast...
canuckteach30 March 2012
A spoilt brat of a girl ('Emily' played by Alicia Silverstone) fakes her own kidnapping to spite her (very) wealthy father, but her plans to be found 'safe' locked in the trunk of her car go awry when an 'innocent' car thief ('Vincent' played by a charming Benicio Del Toro) steals the vehicle. There are several plot developments from this point forward involving a couple of heists, some dangerous small-time thugs looking for money owed to them, and a clumsy romance between Emily and Vincent. Chris Walken plays Emily's Uncle Ray, a savvy ex-military type who unravels the story behind the events more quickly than the hapless FBI agents. Walken is fabulous, and really connects the parts of the story, offering his own brand of menace (watch for a great scene where he tosses a giant redneck-type through a restaurant window), perhaps resembling a less-hostile, but relentless 1st generation Antone Chigurh (the Javier Bardem character from 'No Country for Old Men'). Remember though: this is a heist-gone-wrong-romantic-comedy -- so, things never get too 'dicey'.

Also shining are Michael Bowen (popular TV actor) and Nicholas Turturro (of the famous Turturro family), particularly the latter. They portray the small-time hoods, trying to get into a larger game, but clearly out of their element.

One of the beauties of these lower-budget 'heist' flicks can be the prospect of playing a great villain, and there are a few distinct opportunities in this film. (I wonder if those who rated the film poorly missed that). A parallel example of what I mean is John Lithgow in Sylvester Stallone's 'Cliffhanger', a film that had little going for it, other than Lithgow's brilliant villain mastermind. Walken and Tuturro almost carry Excess Baggage by themselves, but the leads (Silverstone and Del Torro) work a special chemistry themselves. Del Torro is the real deal, by the way - a man who takes characterization very seriously and has played several bizarre roles to prove it. In a unique way, he does much more with the Vincent character than there was on paper.

So, enjoy this PG-13 romcom - these films are a shrinking commodity. You can catch this on Netflix, if you can't find the a rental DVD.
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Excess Baggage - A crash course in fun, laughs, and adventure.
nkfilms25 March 2006
You know, it never ceases to amaze me how movies can be totally blacklisted by the critics to the point of it being absolutely ridiculous and unfair: Excess Baggage was victim to this. It was a bomb, however I feel it was really taken the wrong way.

Silverstone plays a very cute spoiled rich girl who just wants some attention from her father, so she fakes a kidnapping, then locks herself in her own car. Del Toro plays an accomplished and stylish car thief... well, I think you can figure out what happens next.

My thoughts of the film are this - I'm a sucker for cute comedy's with adventurous story lines, and that's what this is. The acting isn't bad, Silverstone is believable and Del Toro is always great. The chemistry on screen is just fantastic. Accompinied by a good soundtrack, and a sexy Silverstone romancing cool Benicio really makes this movie a can't miss. Even if it's something to watch with a girlfriend or boyfriend. It's one of those films from the 90's that just makes you want to go back. If you are reading this and deciding to make it a date movie, it has everything a good date movie has. Rent it tonight!
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fun and interesting enough
lordofthefries-14 December 2005
Maybe it was just the fact that I watched this movie on television with commercial breaks while doing homework, and therefore wasn't exactly giving it my full attention and deep scrutiny, but I rather liked it. It was pretty funny most of the time, though it was all pretty obvious, but that's all right. Journey's more important than the destination, and all that.

The acting wasn't perfect, and all around, there could have been improvements, but I felt fortunate to have stumbled upon this movie. It makes an awesome excuse to take a break from studying every few minutes and stare at Christopher Walken.
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The worst movie I have ever seen!
Quast23 March 1999
I only paid $1.00 to see this movie, and I still felt ripped off. I stuck around, assuming it would get better, or at least hoping I could laugh at it's badness, but neither happened. It was not cheesy enough to laugh at, and it was so terrible I actually experienced physical pain while watching it. The talents of Del Toro and Walken were completely wasted in this lame excuse for entertainment.
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Unexplainably Excellent
biggersbunch22 June 2005
I just happened to turn on the TV and started to watch this movie.I am so glad I did. I probably missed about a half-hour of it but this movie was awesome. It is undescribably great! I hope readers will ignore those other comments saying otherwise because you'll be missing out. This was one of the best movies i've seen in a long time! Ever since I saw it I wish I could see it again. There is something about the end part with them in the trunk that gave me chills. It was so romantic and left you with this positive vibe. 3 words that describe it are: inspiring, deep, and moving. This is great movie for girls looking for a good movie for the night, this is one to check out! When it ends you'll be sad it's over. I'll be buying it soon.
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Excess filmage
matlock-628 September 2001
This is, without a doubt, one of the two worst movies I've ever seen (at least movies that were supposed to be "good").

Alicia Silverstone, usually a decent actor, is simply annoying in this film. The usually excellent Benicio del Toro turns in an embarassingly bad turn as the love interest/kidnapper. In fact, the only actor of any importance here who performs reasonably well is Christopher Walken (who is the lone bright point in this complete waste of space.)

The plot is convoluted, flighty, and downright dumb. The audience has no empathy whatsoever with any of the characters, especially with Silverstone's, nor is she even a "cool" bad guy. In the end (indeed, 10 minutes into the film) not only do we not care at all what happens to her, but we rather wish Walken would just lose his cool, lock her and del Toro in a closet someplace, and dance away into the sunset to a Fatboy Slim song.

Thank god del Toro got his role in Traffic, because this quite easily could have wrecked his career. I don't recommend anyone see this film, unless you are just begging for ways to waste your money and torture yourself.
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Excess Garbage
Annalene23 February 1999
When I rented this movie, I didn't have too high expectations to what it was going to be like, but even so I must admit I was disappointed. I wanted to watch this movie, part because I enjoyed the easy going humor in "Clueless", and part because I like Alicia Silverstone as a young actress. But neither of these two reasons were enough to make me like Excess Baggage at all. The movie lacks a good plot, and is rather boring after a while. All though Silverstone put up a half decent performance, Benicio Del Toro didn't get his role together, and stood out like a sore thumb. A good tip: don't waste your money OR your time on this boring and dumb movie...
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Sweet and invigorating, be sure to not miss this fine film!
Glenn-taurusink18 August 2011
I sure did enjoy the review by Luvmymom and many other reviews here. I saw the 51% rating at the header and I am sad for the 49% that found no joy here.

My Mom was - is - the finest, most Motherly human being on Planet Earth, possibly the entire Universe. A beautiful and proud Italian Gal, but more to the point a Human Gal - Mom and Dad were colorblind as to race and never locked our front door - "What if one of our friends or neighbors has an emergency and needs our phone or something?" - that was the basic way of life at our various San Fran and Brisbane households. Never went wrong with this way of life, even though some junkies who learned about our lax security walked in and stole my Brother Aaron's life savings while the family was at my Father's funeral in 1986.

Both those unfortunates died soon after, due to their own druggie actions, leaving behind good decent families who are still our close friends.

But I am getting way off track here.

This film, these actor-artists, the writer and director, have put together a true piece of Magic.

I just want to add: The first time Dave Matthews Crash...comes in like a warm rainfall, is during the scene in the motel when Alicia says to Benicio, "You don't have to be drunk to kiss me".

When Crash began playing, I was reminded of the first time I heard this wonderful sound.

I was crippled - for only a year, thank Ma Nature - by getting hit by a car while jogging, and I spent many months in 1997-8 staying in my room, feeling sorry for myself, and then I bought this Dave Matthews cassette...saved my Spirit, it did. I just got out of a wheelchair last year after a fall from a scaffold.

This fine movie is helping save my life, that it is.
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