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USA 1997
Directed by
Danny Boyle
102 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars

Life Less Ordinary, A

Danny Boyle's follow-up to his mega cult hit, Trainspotting, was penned by the same screenwriter, John Hodge, but that film benefited from Irvine Welsh’s original novel. A Life Less Ordinary is not in the same league. It is a black comedy that owes quite a bit to the Coens’ Raising Arizona (1987) and tells the story of a hapless nice guy (Boyle's favoured leading man, Ewan McGregor) who in revenge for being sacked as a cleaner, kidnaps the adult daughter-with-attitude (Cameron Diaz) of a mega-rich laywer (Ian Holm). She takes over her own ransom but the twist is that the two are really being set up by a couple of operatives (Delroy Lindo and Raising Arizona star, Holly Hunter) from the Archangel Gabriel (Dan Hedaya) as who has been ordered by God to stop the evident rot in human romance.

Yes. it’s a wacky concept but the problem is that although it has a few moments of promise the film isn’t wacky or stylish enough to carry it off as perhaps the Coens might have.  Hunter and Lindo are effective a couple of bad-ass angels but Diaz and McGregor are an ill-assorted pair and there is no conviction in their romance, which given that it is supposed to be the point of the entire film has to be considered a major failing, one that a cheesy closing montage and a claymation coda over the end credits do nothing to salvage.




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