A Life Less Ordinary (1997)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Fantasy  |  24 October 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 29,070 users   Metascore: 35/100
Reviews: 175 user | 62 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

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 <CherylC894@aol.com>

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?


The overhead shot when Robert is pulling the bag of money along the road with rope is computer generated. 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 »


Naville: I want her back.
O'Reilly: Don't worry, we'll get her.
Naville: And I want him dead.
O'Reilly: That's understood, Mr. Naville.
Naville: Good.
[He places the suitcase with the ransom cash on the desk. Jackson starts to take it, but Naville slaps a hand down on it]
Naville: And when it's over, I want *this* back.
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 »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Two of a Kind (2014) See more »


Written by Larry Love (as Love), Tonin, Mountain of Love (as Marsh), Errol Thompson (as Thompson)
Published by Chrysalis Music Publishing Ltd.
Performed by Alabama 3/A3 featuring Errol Thompson
Courtesy of Elemental Records Ltd., Virgin Records GMBH, Geffen Records
See more »

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User Reviews

A Magical Movie
13 September 2005 | by (California US) – See all my reviews

I just love watching movies where I do not expect excellence - and yet there it is. I was very happy with a Life Less Ordinary. It seemed to me to be unique, charming, fun and just a great way to spend some enjoyable time.

When a movie gets this enjoyable, I need to ask why. In my opinion in this movie its "casting" was exceptional. And of course one then has to credit directing that puts the cast at their best. Clearly Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz can both be characters. Well, this is a movie that puts them at their best, funniest and most charming. The director also brings out their unique features as an actor and actress that just makes the movie enjoyable.

The highlight of this kidnapping movie is also unexpected. It for me was the song and dance routine with Ewan and Cameron. They were great - fun and charming.

This is a movie that I will want to watch again and again.

42 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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