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A Life Less Ordinary (1997)



Average Rating: 3.8/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 7

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 54,467

My Rating

Movie Info

The acclaimed Trainspotting trio (director Danny Boyle, producer Andrew Macdonald, scripter John Hodge) reunited for this update of '30s screwball comedies and '40s fantasies, such as Here Comes Mr. Jordan(1941), Angel on My Shoulder(1946), Down to Earth(1947), and the 1946 Stairway to Heaven (co-directed by Macdonald's grandfather, Emeric Pressburger). Tossed together for $12 million, the result is a combination salad, a surreal salmagundi with an added animated sequence for lagniappe. In


Drama, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy

John Hodge

Mar 20, 2001

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Watch It Now


Latest News on A Life Less Ordinary

August 24, 2005:
Danny Boyle's "Sun" Begins to Shine
Thanks to for sharing a press release from Fox Searchlight regarding Danny Boyle's...
July 5, 2005:
In Other News...Roman Polanski, Ewan McGregor, and An Ally for Brooke Shields
Controversial director Roman Polanski will make an appearance in court this month -- not to continue...


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All Critics (59) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (22) | DVD (6)

It combines romance, comedy, the supernatural, violence, whimsy and music in a unique way.

February 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Any movie featuring Holly Hunter as a blood-spattered angel, grinning homicidally as she clings to the hood of a speeding car, is just about impossible to dislike.

August 13, 2007 Full Review Source:

Part fantasy-adventure, part musical, part nutty romance and part boy-girl crime spree.

July 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

Impressive ambitions that fail at every turn. Ewan's really quite uncharacteristically dreadful.

May 19, 2004
New Times

Really clever fantasy romance. Great style and great humor.

August 11, 2003

Interesting storyline, great performances, and much better than the average romantic comedy.

February 20, 2003

Life may be messy, but it's usually entertaining.

July 2, 2002 Full Review
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

A madcap comedy about soulmates.

February 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

little more than a string of set-pieces... (but) the movie looks and sounds fabulous, thanks to Boyle's sharp eye and a soundtrack featuring everyone from Underworld to Elvis.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: James Sanford on Film
James Sanford on Film

Isn't as much fun as it ought to be, or even as much fun as it sounds in the retelling.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

A failed experiment. For hardcore fans only.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Run. Run away.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

A more appropriate moniker would be A Movie More Misguided.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

A Coen-esque screwball.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

A Life Less Ordinary is exactly that. Ordinary would have been an improvement.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

Audience Reviews for A Life Less Ordinary

Not charming enough to completely make its celestial plot work and a roughly hewn script in general, Boyle's 'A Life Less Ordinary' is still helped along by a good performance from McGregor and an original idea of a film, even if it's not completely executed well.
April 23, 2013
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

This may be harsh to another's opinion, but this was a giant letdown in so many ways. Director Danny Boyle, who has thrilled with such enigmatic films as Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, and Shallow Grave, decided to make a film that tries to be a plethora of things and fails at all of them. Billed as a comedy, I find none of this humorous, eccentric at best and a general misfire in all. The only hint that this was a Danny Boyle films lies in the strange sequence changes, the odd surrealism, and the presence of his favorite actor to work with Ewan McGregor. It's obvious that this was supposed to be quirky cute with a hindrance of thriller, but it comes off stagnant and clichéd throughout. The agents or angels from heaven are the oddest placement within the storyline as they meander through, being wretched and saying eerily prescient things to, mostly, themselves. I liked their give and take, their queer sounding dialogue, but they needn't have been in the film at all. The entire angle of heavenly intervention and fate would have rung true if the stakes weren't so high. Why did they need this impossible couple to get together, and why were there a shortage of happy couples in the world? There are just as many happy people as sad (at least I hope that's true.) Beside that disgustingly clichéd decision there is the romantic entanglements between kidnapper Robert (McGregor) and Celine (Diaz). It would have been excusable if the two people that the film is actually based around were engaging, funny, lighthearted, even cute and cuddly in some respects. There is just zero chemistry between our two leads. Celine is supposed to be a broad with a penchant for slipping into the role of femme fatale, when really she's a lost, pandering nothing of a character, whose motives are at the whim of the plot. Robert is boring and slow, and is only existent to be a romantic lead, clumsy and bumbling as well as poor. The supporting cast was decent, but otherwise I found nothing redeeming in this other than seeing how Danny Boyle progressed as a director.
May 26, 2012

Super Reviewer

2 stars and a half
February 7, 2011
MisterYoda ?

Super Reviewer

Movies Like A Life Less Ordinary

    1. Celine: How much are you asking for?
    2. Robert: Half a million.
    3. Celine: Half a million dollars is not a lot of money for a woman like me!
    4. Robert: I didn't mean it as a reflection of you as an individual!
    – Submitted by Christian B (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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