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A Life Less Ordinary (1997)

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A desperate guy kidnaps a daughter of his former boss who recently fired him. Two angels are sent to Earth for checking if love is possible in this case.


Danny Boyle


John Hodge
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Holly Hunter ... O'Reilly
Delroy Lindo ... Jackson
Dan Hedaya ... Gabriel
Cameron Diaz ... Celine Naville
Ian McNeice ... Mayhew
Ewan McGregor ... Robert Lewis
Frank Kanig Frank Kanig ... Ted
Mel Winkler Mel Winkler ... Frank Naville
Anne Cullimore Decker Anne Cullimore Decker ... Violet Eldred Gesteten
Stanley Tucci ... Elliot Zweikel
K.K. Dodds ... Lily
Tony Shalhoub ... Al
Ian Holm ... Naville
Christopher Gorham ... Walt
Maury Chaykin ... Tod Johnson


Ewan McGregor stars as a cleaning man in Los Angeles, 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


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:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

24 October 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Une vie moins ordinaire See more »

Filming Locations:

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA See more »


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,007,279, 26 October 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$4,266,243, 23 November 1997

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,700,000, 9 November 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The scene where Robert (Ewan McGregor) almost hits O'Reilly (Holly Hunter), who is lying in the road, was shot backwards and then reversed in post-production. 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 »


[first lines]
Man: [v.o] So, here's the deal. We are in the garden, right? And everything is great. And there's this tree. And the man says, "Ooh, see that tree? "Don't eat the fruit of that tree. "That apple you do not eat." He goes inside, names some animals - maybe takes a dump. Anyway,what does she do? She eats the apple! I can't believe what I'm seeing! He says, "Don't eat it!" She eats it! Unbelievable! Since then, men,women... I don't know. It's all going wrong!
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 »


Round Are Way
Written by Noel Gallagher
Published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Performed by Oasis
Courtesy of SINE (Sony Music Independent Network Europe) and Creation Records Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

strange, but not necessarily in a good way
17 April 2006 | by baba44713See all my reviews

By reading the comments here you might get an idea that this is a movie which you "either love or hate". I disagree. Actually I think the truth is quite the opposite - most likely you will be utterly confused by the movie and be very hard pressed to decide whether you liked it or not.

There is a rich girl and a dude with quite a bad luck run going on. The guy kidnaps a girl. There are also some angels whose role isn't clear. A lot of confusing things happen and then the movie ends. With a claymation sequence.

Perhaps if they threw out the whole "angels" angle it would be better. Perhaps the angels are the only thing saving it from being utter dreck. I don't know. That's the most honest comment I can give - I dunno. Much like the angels in question - it seems that even they are not really sure of what are their plans and motivations. But even if I disregard the whole angels and divine intervention stuff, sure fact is that the plot just zigs and zags and has more dead ends then Ozzy Osbourne's hair. Right when you think the movie goes somewhere, the plot throws another tiring curve-ball right up to the end. Which you probably will not like. Or will "get it" and then write essays about it here on the message boards, but let's not go there, I beg you.

For me the biggest complaint is that the movie tries so hard to enter the quite elusive "weird but entertaining" category and constantly fails. It is at times witty, at times trippy, at times baffling but never quite reaches the entertainment level it aims for. I can't say I didn't enjoy it, at times I really felt I'm loving it, but more it went on I couldn't but miss the fact that the creators really didn't have a clue what to do with it or where they wanted it to go. Rewatching further reinforced the fact I had the first time around - the movie's a mess, no matter how much it tried to hide it.

To sum up, this movie is at the same time good and amusing as well as utterly confusing, unpolished and tiresome. So in average it is, well, quite average.


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