A Life Less Ordinary (1997)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Fantasy  |  24 October 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 29,194 users   Metascore: 35/100
Reviews: 177 user | 63 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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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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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?


Julia Roberts was considered for the role of Celine. See more »


When Robert is digging the grave, Jackson is talking to him, sitting on the ground with legs crossed. There is a cut to Jackson's back, and a few seconds later a front view shows him with legs out-stretched. See more »


[Robert desperately searches the cabin for the ransom cash to hold off his own execution]
Naville: We're just gonna have to face the truth, Robert, you don't have my money! And frankly, I don't care. It's just a detail.
[as Mayhew drags an axe across the floor]
Naville: As long as you understand, that it isn't the money, it's the principle.
See more »

Crazy Credits

When the preciding footage ends, it's followed by claymation animation containing the principal characters of the film engaged in further adventures. See more »


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


Written by Jill Cunniff
Published by EMI April Music Inc., Grand Royal Music, Luscious Jackson Music
Performed by Luscious Jackson
Courtesy of Grand Royal Records, Capitol Records Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Another whimsical and wacky comedy!!!
27 April 2004 | by (Morro Bay, Hammett Valley, Twin Rocks) – See all my reviews

Years ago I didn't really like this film. I couldn't get into it, but I watched it the other night, needing a Ewan fix, and I loved it!!! It does seem a very strange mess of a movie if you browse thru it or happen to miss a scene while going to the bathroom, but I made myself pause it when I needed to and now I seem to get it!!!

Part road trip, part romantic comedy, part wacky comedy, part fantasy, it's all about how the angel Gabriel (Dan Hedaya) is getting pressure from the Big Man Himself to arrange love matches that will actually last.

Down on earth, oblivious to what's going on in heaven, a janitor named Robert (Ewan McGregor) has just been fired and replaced by a robot. His ruthless boss (a hysterical Ian Holm) refuses to even act apologetic about replacing hardworking men with mindless robots he doesn't have to pay. His reason completely gone, Robert kidnaps the spoiled princess daughter of his boss, Celine (Cameron Diaz) and hits the road with her, hoping to get his job, some money, or just an apology!!!

This is the kind of film which is perfect when you need something very fluffy and fun with no heaviness. There is some violence (one very funny scene involves Delroy Lindo forcing Robert to dig his own grave), but it's so funny and comedic that it's not going to fit in with the regular violence in movies, like in Die Hard or something.

It's a very delightful film for anyone who likes Ewan or Cameron. I think they had great chemistry and the whole movie was just pure fun!!!

31 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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