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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?


Shot over a period of fifty days. 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 »


[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!
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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 »


References A Matter of Life and Death (1946) See more »


Peace in the Valley
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
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User Reviews

Highly Entertaining Romantic Comedy
11 November 2010 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In Los Angeles, the janitor and aspirant writer of trash novel Robert Lewis (Ewan McGregor) is fired and replace by a robot. He goes to the office of his boss Naville (Ian Holm) and has an argument with him, demanding his job back. When the security guards surround him, Robert abducts the daughter of his boss Celine Naville (Cameron Diaz) to escape from the building. The witty Celine convinces Robert to request a large amount for ransom to her father. Meanwhile, the fallen angels O'Reilly (Holly Hunter) and Jackson (Delroy Lindo) are assigned by their chief Gabriel (Dan Hedaya) to help Robert and Celine to fall in love with each other, otherwise they will never return home.

"A Life Less Ordinary" is a highly entertaining romantic comedy with a crazy and funny story. Cameron Diaz is awesome in the role of the spoiled Celine, and show a wonderful chemistry with Ewan McGregor. They form one of the most unlike couples, forcing the angels to use unconventional methods to bring them together. I saw this film on 03 July 1999 for the first time, and today I have just watched it again on DVD. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Por Uma Vida Menos Ordinária" ("For a Life Less Ordinary")

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