A Life Less Ordinary - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Life Less Ordinary Reviews

Page 1 of 71
½ November 21, 2017
This is not Danny Boyle's best movie, but I liked it more than the critics seemed to. It is a bit romantic, but the laughs certainly don't happen too often. Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz are great together on screen though. Worth watching once, but not something I would watch over and over again.
November 13, 2017
Just a fun date night flick.
March 20, 2017
Uplifting and smart, with amazing performances and chemistry between Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz, typically outstanding collaboration by Danny Boyle and John Hodge, the movie is extremely entertaining.
Super Reviewer
March 15, 2017
From director Danny Boyle comes the rather bizarre romantic comedy A Life Less Ordinary. The story follows the spoiled daughter of a rich businessman who is kidnapped by a recently fired janitor, and the two then team-up in order to extort a ransom from her father and begin to fall in love; but unknown to them events are being manipulated by two angels. Cameron Diaz gives a good performance and has a lot of charisma, but Ewan McGregor is terrible and two have no chemistry. Additionally, the comedy is pretty weak, featuring stale jokes and cheap slapstick. A mess of a film that's all over the place, A Life Less Ordinary just doesn't work.
February 9, 2017
"I thought we agreed there'd be no clichés."

This late-90's offer from Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire) will celebrate its twentieth birthday later this year, but this is the first time I've heard of it, let alone seen it. To say this movie was sold hard to me would be an understatement. My friend with whom I watched it (we'll call him Turk), lists A Life Less Ordinary as one of his favorite films of all time. As a teenager in the 90's, he apparently saw it four times in theaters (making him the only one to do so judging from its middling box office take). Knowing Turk, it's easy to see why he connected with this film the way he did. He started his tenure in the industry making experimental films in North Carolina and has lived a - shall we say - colorful life, blurring the lines between youthful idealism and life-threatening violence. If that doesn't cover A Life Less Ordinary in a nutshell, I don't know what does.

Ewan McGregor's twenty-something burnout Robert Lewis is a surrogate for Turk's roller coaster youth (he told me himself several times between sips of bourbon). His violent, unconventional, and divinely-intervened meet cute with rich firecracker Celine Naville (Cameron Diaz as the prototype of 90's beauty complete with Claire Richards hairdo) is something straight out of my friend's northern Florida upbringing.

Boyle strikes an absurdist tone early, poking fun at the bourgeois idea of a romantic arc. From what I know of Turk, his love life has also been quite the mockery of tradition. When women aren't coming at him with knives, they're screwing the bartender from the local franchise restaurant on his couch. So the failed attempts of Holly Hunter and Delroy Lindo's angels to create a spark between Robert and Celine must have struck a certain chord with him. Love isn't the "boy meets girl" ideal that most romantic comedies nuke on high for mass consumption. It's a battlefield of false starts, mutual hate, and (at least in my buddy's case) a lot of blood.

I always try to give credit where credit is due, and to this effect, A Life Less Ordinary largely succeeds. It subverts romantic comedy clichés even as it stuffs them in one after the other. Like the meddling angels, we want Celine and Robert to end up together despite their absurd magnetic repulsion. No romance that involves kidnapping, murder, armed robbery, tommy gun shootouts, gravedigging, and Bilbo Baggins on a vendetta (Ian Holm plays Celine's father with a cartoonish whimsy) should end in happily ever after, but the audience's conditioning demands it nonetheless. It's intended as irony, but I can only imagine the literal analogues to Turk's life that he watched one by one.

When you watch a movie that looks like the inside of your head, it's hard not to fall head over heels for it. Watching FX's Man Seeking Woman for the first time had that effect on me just as A Life Less Ordinary must have had on Turk. But to quote BoJack Horseman, "When you look... through rose-tinted glasses, all the red flags just look like flags."

A Life Less Ordinary has clear intentions with its subversive narrative, but intentions do not a good movie make. Its framing device of Heaven's police department treating lovers like murder cases, while initially amusing, becomes distracting and dissonant as time goes on. Though the best moments of the film belong to Hunter and Lindo as their botched attempts at matchmaking go off the rails, it feels like a counterpoint from a completely different movie.

For absurdism to really work in the context of a story, there need to be clear rules. That's why Man Seeking Woman and Adventure Time in particular work so well as surrealist narratives. The former creates a realistic metropolitan setting and all of the wackiness (ie. interdimensional monsters, calls from the president, dates with bridge trolls) are exaggerations of real emotions and situations. In the latter, the fantasy genre allows for a certain suspension of disbelief that let the creators to get away with say, injecting a race of hotdog people.

A Life Less Ordinary establishes nothing like this. We're never quite sure if this is supposed to be the real world, a satirized version of it, a fantasy realm, or an all-out piece of avant-garde museum cinema. With nowhere to plant our feet, the film is still amusing, but allows for minimal investment. Scenes are played out for maximum shock value and don't move the story forward very much (they sometimes move it sideways if anything). Toward the end, I found myself wondering how the surreal addition of Heaven's police department aided the story at all. It really didn't.

If you decide to take this movie on its twenty-year spin, do so for the visceral experience. Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz have amazing chemistry (even if the dialogue gets ham-fisted from time to time) and the bullet-ridden absurdity of it all is a bloody good time. Plus, you won't see an unwound Holly Hunter climb a truck hood grinning like the devil's mistress anywhere else. 4.2/10
September 29, 2016
It's pure clever entertainement, I absolutely loved the chemistry between Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz, also the directing by Danny Boyle is tipically amazing.
½ September 25, 2016
The chemistry between the haphazard McGregor & the perky Diaz is a perfect combination for this off the wall comedy. Hilarious.
August 15, 2016
solid bore .. tests the patience with a messed up plot from director of "Slumdog Millionaire"
July 30, 2016
Pleasant, though uneven, comedy-romance from Danny Boyle. A true guilty pleasure.
May 5, 2016
Danny Boyle's "A Life Less Ordinary" is a satisfactory screwball comedy, but it succeeds only as that.
½ August 14, 2015
Ewan McGregor e Cameron Diaz não se entendem, o elenco de apoio é ruim e o roteiro é o ponto baixo do filme.
½ July 14, 2015
The movie premise states that today's youth (1997) because of society being desensitized to violence and the prevalence of divorce (nearly 50%), that love needs the Jeopardy of Death to be fully realized and True. This is, of course, BULLSHIT (paradoxically I like the movie anyway). If you watch the movie again without the "Cupids" overseeing their "honeymoon" and of course minus the bank robbery, their journey would allow for true love to blossom naturally only if the two parties were open to the other's "je ne sais quoi". A vacation alone in the beginning stages of a relationship will almost always bring about true love if it's really there to begin with. A road trip will expedite this to an amazing degree.

If you research the term honeymoon, you'll see that the movie has historical relevance, in that the husbands' of yore used to kidnap their wives' for about a month when her family would give up looking, if she liked her imposed mate, she was lucky (obviously not many were at that time). The term "Honeymoon" actually came from the fertility drink of fermented honey and water she would have drunk during that first month.

For the record, I met my husband working at Barnes & Nobel when we were in our very early 20's (2005) and have been happily married for 10 years, spending our vacations road tripping around these majestic United States. We plan on traveling the next decade around Europe if our home improvement projects don't cost too much. ;)
May 10, 2015
Laughs,loot and bloody mayhem set to music,what's wrong with that?
April 30, 2015
This is another one of those movies where I cannot understand why it's received so many bad reviews. John Hodge has actually delivered a story that is unusual, completely different and with a combination of nonsense, thrills, and superb acting (the consistently fantastic Holly Hunter in her element as a bounty hunter angel). A moving soundtrack for a film that doesn't take itself too seriously. An underestimated classic that is too often overshadowed by Danny Boyle's Trainspotting. Lovers of this film understand that an actor is often at their best when they allow themselves to be funny. Fantastic work and beautiful imagery.
February 6, 2015
It's like a half -baked mixture of a screwball comedy and a fantasy and lacks a feeling of unity. Cameron's performance is a blessed relief. It gives a glimpse of her later success as an actress.
½ November 10, 2014
It never gets as dark as you want it to be, but A Life Less Ordinary is a fast-paced, fresh twist on romantic comedies with a killer soundtrack and tons of chemistry between its leads.
½ July 22, 2014
Bad to a point where it was almost unwatchable ... it actually was unwatchable, as i stopped watching after the first hour, and that's saying something because i just gave up right before the climax. The acting by Diaz and McGregor was mediocre at best - and I'm being generous because I know they can do better. The other actors were just awful. The plot was completely nonsensical, and the dialogue felt like it was written by a 12 year-old. The cinematography was also really bad, the scene transitions were confusing, there were many scenes that could have been cut, as they didn't further the plot or character in any way. The whole sub-plot, with the angels (or whatever they were - it was never made clear) was completely stupid, and made no sense. The film could have been almost average if they weren't included. The characters were very one-dimensional - Diaz was the bitchy snob who had a hard life despite her wealth, McGregor was the loser, the father was the rich guy who neglected his daughter etc. etc. There was no growth (or maybe there was, if the last 30 minutes was miraculously different than the rest of the film). I realize this film was released 12 years ago, but its not even good enough to be an average film of that time. It would have been better for careers of both McGregor and Diaz if they were never associated with this film.
July 21, 2014
This is a great mov ie
July 13, 2014
Weird film but interesting, very Danny Boyle. Cameron Diaz so cute back then! Love her eyes and the joker smile.
March 22, 2014
wow ummmmn just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a great movie 2 watch......its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie.......i think that ewan mcgregor, cameron diaz, holly hunter, dan hedaya, ian holm, delroy lindo (from the brilliant tv series the chicago code), play good roles/parts throughout this movie.......i think that the director of this drama/romance/sci-fi/fantasy movie had done a great job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie.......YOU HAVE GOT TO WATCH THE END OF THE CREDITS THORUGHOUT THIS MOVIE AS SOMETHING HAPPENS AT THE END OF THE CREDITS THORUGHOUT THIS MOVIE........i think that Timothy Olyphant as Hiker was good throughout this movie......its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie.......i think that this is such a really funny/enjoyable black comedy movie 2 watch.......i think that tony shalhoub (from the brilliant tv series the x-files), was great thorughout this movie as al thorughout this movie.......i think that this is such an enjoyable movie 2 watch,........its got good car chases thorughout this movie.......i think that kk dodds was good thorughout this movie in her cameo throughout this movie.......i think that this is such a good love story movie 2 watch its so really funny movie 2 watch its got a great cast throughout this movie i think that this is a really enjoyable romantic movie 2 watch i think that both ewan mcgregor/cameron diaz were great thorughout this movie as the 2 love interests of each other thorughout this movie......its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie.......i think that this is such a great movie 2 watch its such a really funny movie 2 watch with a good cast throughout this movie........
Page 1 of 71