A Life Less Ordinary (1997)
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as Ms. Gesteten
as Celine's Mother
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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.
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.
2 stars and a half
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