'A Life Less Ordinary' is such a quirky film with jabs of satirical themes
that I could have sworn I was watching a film by the Coen brothers. In fact,
this movie is the latest from 'Trainspotting' director Danny Boyle. That
film's writer, John Hodge, is responsible for the screenplay here as well.
To describe 'A Life Less Ordinary' is to put a puzzled look on your face as
you say, "Yeah, that's really what it's about".
Heaven is the setting for some of the film's opening scenes where St. Gabriel
(Dan Hedaya) is about to give a mission to two less than squeaky clean angels
(Delroy Lindo and Holly Hunter) who have to return to Earth and cause two
people to fall in love if they want to get back into Heaven and stay.
Ewan McGregor ('Trainspotting') plays a janitor who works in a building owned
by a tyrannical businessman (Ian Holm) and loses his job when the boss
replaces all the cleaning staff with robots! Yes, little robots who bleep,
turn and perform their duties accordingly. Needless to say, this causes
McGregor so much anger and grief that he storms into the boss' office and
demands his job back. His timing is somewhat awkward. It comes just as Holm
is telling his daughter (Cameron Diaz) that she will learn responsiblity by
going to work at the company and will stop living off of her trust fund. She
takes pity on McGregor who ends up being swarmed by security guards inside
the office and he takes her hostage and the two of them eventually take
refuge in a broken down shack in the heart of the countryside. All along,
the two angels (Lindo and Hunter) are watching them and try to set up a
scenario where McGregor and Diaz will fall in love. If you have to wonder
whether or not they DO fall in love, then shame on you.
I immediately started getting flashbacks of 1994's 'The Chase' with Charlie
Sheen and Kristy Swanson as Sheen played an armed robber who holds up a
convenience store and when the police intercept him, he takes a little rich
girl (Swanson) hostage. Ditto here! 'A Life Less Ordinary' is nothing more
than a hostage movie where the romance is implausible and unconvincing. It
tries to entertain lightly but comes off as a silly and innocuous with no
real reason to exist except to tell a story which has very little originality
and even less edge.
Relax. Ewan McGregor will be featured as a young Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi in the
next 'Star Wars' trilogy but Cameron Diaz's act is starting to wear thin as
she tries to act seriously and when she displays anger in films, she really
makes me laugh. 'A Life Less Ordinary' demonstrates one thing. While the
Copyright © 1997 Walter Frith