In Excess Baggage (Columbia), Alicia Silverstone pouts in a Clueless way and fights in a Batgirlish style as Emily, an alienated rich young woman who fakes her own kidnapping in order to get her negligent businessman daddy’s attention. But Emily finds herself embroiled with a car thief (Benicio Del Toro) who has the dumb bad luck of stealing the BMW in which she has hidden herself. Along the way, she throws tantrums (to show she’s an itty-bitty girl), knocks back snootfuls of liquor, and smokes so many cigarettes (to prove she’s a grown-up?) that admonishing letters to the actress are sure to arrive (so I beat you to it).
What Emily doesn’t do, though — what this slow-moving, sour, sloppily assembled teen drama doesn’t allow her to do — is make her predicament of any emotional interest. (I kept fantasizing a Ruthless People scenario in which Dad hollers into the phone, ”Take my daughter — and her butter-yellow leath-er jacket, too!”) There is, however, an unintentional benefit to this mess: You’re free to forget about Silverstone and concentrate on The Usual Suspects‘ Del Toro as well as on Christopher Walken, who appears as Emily’s father’s ”fixer.” The two famously eccentric actors mumble and squint at one another with gay abandon, turning in the kind of performances sure to win awards in Bizarro World. D