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A Life Less Ordinary (1997)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Fantasy  |  24 October 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 29,039 users   Metascore: 35/100
Reviews: 175 user | 62 critic | 22 from

Ewan McGregor stars as a cleaning man in L.A. who takes his boss' daughter hostage after being fired and replaced by a robot. Two "angels" who are in charge of human relationships on earth,... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Kanig ...
Mel Winkler ...
Frank Naville
Anne Cullimore Decker ...
Violet Eldred Gesteten
Elliot Zweikel
K.K. Dodds ...
Tod Johnson


Ewan McGregor stars as a cleaning man in L.A. who takes his boss' daughter hostage after being fired and replaced by a robot. Two "angels" who are in charge of human relationships on earth, offer some unsolicited help to bring this unlikely couple together. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

janitor | angel | hostage | heaven | novel | See All (114) »


A twisted love story from the filmmakers of "Trainspotting". See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

24 October 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Une vie moins ordinaire  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,007,279 (USA) (24 October 1997)


DEM 1,682,281 (Germany) (30 January 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At the end where Mayhew shoots and kills O'Reilly and Jackson, there is a picture of Gabriel hanging over Mayhew's shoulder. See more »


When O'Relly is paying off the hiker/car-jacker, she says "Here's $40." She hands him six bills. The top three are 20s (one of which you can see the bottom of the bill if not its digit in the corner), the next is a 10, then a 5 and on the bottom another 10. $85 in total. See more »


Robert: You... you're going to kill me?
Jackson: Yeah.
[Robert cries hysterically]
Robert: Well then I don't see why I should dig!
Jackson: If you dig, I promise you when the time comes I'll shoot you through the head.
[Robert laughs bitterly]
Jackson: Now look, you don't like that? I can just shoot you through the testicles right now, you can bleed to death, I'll dig the grave, it's up to you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For the start of the credits, the top half of image contains a wide box (2.35:1?) which runs footage furthering the plotline. Note the film itself was in 1.85:1. See more »


References It Happened One Night (1934) See more »


Written by Peter Svensson (as Svensson), Nina Persson (as Persson)
Published by Songs of PolyGram International, Inc.
Performed by The Cardigans
Courtesy of Stockholm Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Nice little Fantasy
15 July 2001 | by See all my reviews

After the success of Trainspotting (1995), British filmmaking trio, Danny Boyle, John Hodge & Andrew MacDonald made A Life less Ordinary. The film could not be a more different departure from their previous effort. A Life less Ordinary is a wild and sweat natured romantic fantasy, concerning our hero Robert (Ewan McGregor) and spoiled rich girl Celine (Cameron Diaz) and the two angels (Hunter & Lindo) who are given the task of getting them to fall in love. Boyle uses many great cinematic techniques to make the film seem even more fantastic, and Hodges writing is some of the funniest in a long time. Sadly the film does go off the rails somewhat in the last twenty minutes, but it's still an extremely entertaining film, full of bizarre characters and images that makes it one of the most enjoyable two hours you could spend watching a film.


18 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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