1 September 2006 | jpschapira
"Come on, come on; come on come on come on..."
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.