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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good like tea - black and sweet
Every time I read a bad review of this movie, one of the main complaints is that the angels are out of place, or not needed. Not so! Their presence explains why the two radically different main characters fall for each other. Without the angels, this story would be a trite, Showtime-style story of "kidnapped girl falls for cute kidnapper", but the celestial...
Published on June 20, 2001 by ann_septimus16

versus
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Calling this movie odd is understating it quite a bit
While I enjoyed watching every actor in this movie, I have to admit that this whole thing is a mess. The plot is completely unnecessary and has the texture of something they made up as they went along and then added just a bit more confusion in the editing. However, in some odd way, I wanted to keep watching in spite of the frustrating nonsense of the story...
Published on July 15, 2006 by Craig Matteson


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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good like tea - black and sweet, June 20, 2001
Every time I read a bad review of this movie, one of the main complaints is that the angels are out of place, or not needed. Not so! Their presence explains why the two radically different main characters fall for each other. Without the angels, this story would be a trite, Showtime-style story of "kidnapped girl falls for cute kidnapper", but the celestial help allows the romance to fall into place so that the story can progress beyond that. You know that Robert and Celine have to fall for each other, the fun is in how the angels arrange the circumstances that put them in "the love situation".
The humor in this movie is very black and/or subtle - you have to pay attention to the dialogue if you want to catch everything. It never becomes arch, though, and allows both characters, especially Robert (Ewan McGregor), to show their sweetness. One of the only problems was that in making Robert a 'good guy', the screenwriters kind of made him ineffectual - every character takes advantage him in some way. But McGregor conquers that obstacle and produces a great character, very much the star of the film. Watch for the grave scene. It is the ABSOLUTELY the funniest scene in a movie, ever. Also the ransom call scene. Both are driven by McGregor to great effect. (Why, Oh why, doesn't he do any books-on-tape? I could listen to that voice for hours!)
I am not a fan of romantic comedies, mostly because of the unrealism that two perfect people find each other and fall in love. ALLO is different, though, because it explains *why* they HAVE to fall for each other instead of just giving us the situation and making us believe it.
And to all those reviewers who don't understand the angels, go watch a Meg Ryan movie.
WATCH THIS AND LOVE IT!!!!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Comedy With A Twist, January 27, 2003
This review is from: A Life Less Ordinary (DVD)
A LIFE LESS ORDINARY is definately an original movie. This is a completely original plot that is enriched by good actors. It stars Cameron Diaz, as the socialite Celine, and Ewan McGregor, who plays Robert, a custodian. Two angels are sent down to earth to help pair up these two unlikely people, and make them fall in love. Robert kidnaps Celine in an attempt to get back at her father, who got him fired and replaced him with a robot. At first they despise each other, but as the movie progresses she shows him how to be a success as a kidnapper, and he softens her attitude, and they eventually fall for each other. Hilarity ensues every time they seem to get off track and the angels make desperate attempts to put them back together, such as writing a poem, acting as killers. Overall it's a wonderful movie that is well acted and well scripted, definately a delight to see if you want something different or just enjoy good comedy with a twist.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally, An Original Romantic Comedy, January 26, 2000
By 
Kevin Alphonso (Canton, Michigan) - See all my reviews
It's been a long time coming, but romantic comedies finally have the hope of seeming new and original. I had wanted to see this movie for a long time, and when I finally did, I wasn't at all dissapointed. This film was scalded by bad reviews and low box office take. Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz make a great team. McGregor is an extremly talented actor and he makes a great comic actor! One of the best scenes is where he tries making a ransom call, but has to keep starting over because he messes up! This movie has everything: great direction, good actors, a great story, and puts more than a few more than welcome kinks into the romantic comedy formula, which is turned upside down! This film is underrated and if you've heard all the reviews simply see the film for yourself. And even if you don't like it, it's not a bad Friday night video rental. Check it out.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The chemistry works, December 30, 1999
By 
D. S. Gilbert (Cleveland, Georgia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I don't understand why the critics slammed this movie so hard. Granted, the framing plot with the two evil angels is really, really stupid. But I can ignore that because the give-and-take between Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz is so funny, so charming, so perfectly acted. They work so well together, with Diaz as the spoiled-brat rich girl and McGregor is a sweet guy so bumbling he doesn't even know how to commit a crime properly and Diaz has to teach him. And check out the song-and-dance number where McGregor turns into a Broadway showman! The soundtrack music is great, too, especially R.E.M.'s "Leave." When I rented this movie last summer, I loved it so much I watched it four times in three days. I finally got my own copy for Christmas, and now I can watch it as much as I want. I suggest you add it to your video collection, too, so you can pull it off the shelf whenever you want to watch a fun, romantic comedy.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny dark comedy, w/ a quirky sense of style, June 22, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: A Life Less Ordinary (DVD)
Ewan McGregor is fab, whatever he does. (Except maybe Phantom Menace.) He's a wonderful actor. Just had to get that out of the way. ^_^
I've heard this movie compared to Dogma, in the way that it's appeal varies dramaticlly, depending on what kind of person you are. It can either be very funny and witty, or too weird for certain tastes. The best way to tell if you like it, would be to watch it, and find out ^_^
This movie has some of my favorite quotes ever, (besides Romy and Michelle's Highschool Reunion...^_~) "If you don't pay up, I'm going to send your daughter home in... in boxes! Little boxes!" And once again, our beloved Ewan tries his hand at singing... a little 50's diner number with Cameron Diaz, in which they dance on the bar top.
This movie is not at all realistic. In fact, that's most of it's appeal. At the end of the movie, there is a clay-animation in which Ewan and Cameron Diaz fly away to Scotland in a little car. Realistic? I think not. But seeing the clay version of Ewan McGregor, (as well as all of the central charachters,) generates enough of a laugh to let you walk away with that fuzzy warm feeling. And as a dark comedy, it's a great way to end the movie.
Don't listen to cynics - definatley give this movie a chance!! ^_^
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eccentricity...amplified, October 2, 2002
"A Life Less Ordinary" is a zany romp. Ewan McGregor plays Robert Lewis, the hestitant kidnapper who gets himself into the predicament accidentally because he's mad that janitor robots replaced him at a local business and his protest went awry, his "victim" is a controlling spoiled brat Celine Neville (Diaz) the child of his ex-employer, who, having been kidnapped before, contantly criticizes his kidnapping style. But believe it or not, you forget about the kidnapping altogether after half an hour as the two bond with each other.
Fact is, the kidnapping kicks off the movie but doesn't need to last because that's not what it's about, though they get themselves into enough legal trouble to last the whole film as a result of it. It's actually a romance about divine intervention.
Yes, divine intervention.
Apparently, St. Gabriel, who is upset at the lack of true and pure love, sends two agents down (played by Jackson O'Reilly and Holly Hunter in one of her most hilarious roles), to get them together or risk saying adios to pearly gates forever. They get mixed up with the apparently highly crooked Mr. Neville who wants them to kill Robert. Of course they can't do that because that would defy their purpose, on several accounts. Add a few gun fights, lots gunshot wounds, people getting crushed by cars, and some hilarious dialogue and situations and you get the general jist of the film. It doesn't try to make sense, but it does haphazardly in a frenetic, frantic, truly crazy way (though all cinematography stays well on the ground, no flying fairies or can can dancing here, and no, that's not a jab at Moulin Rouge).
The film also boasts a slew of great performances from Mcgregor and Diaz (very creative performances if you can imagine such a thing), Stanley Tucci the sleazy dentist ex-fiancee, to Ian Holm and Ian McNiece as the insideous Mr. Neville and his henchman. But the movie's real star, even beating out the couple's Sinatra dance duet in a honky tonk or their high speed racing in dilapitaed pickup trucks, is the script. It's high energy and brilliantly crafted, John Hodge (the writer) and Boyle (director) outdid themselves with such an insane yet workable idea.
Great watchable film that is highly undderated. Deserves more praise for being as un-ordinary and chock full of talent as possible.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Normally I don't like romantic comedies, August 28, 2000
But this one was just great! I rented it for a movie party with the Boyle-MacDonald team as the theme (already loved Trainspotting and Shallow Grave), and all the guests loved it too.
The video store called it drama, but whoever made that classification obviously didn't watch it. We couldn't stop laughing! We had to watch the ransom call scene over again so we could hear it!
I don't have much of an opinion of Cameron Diaz (the only other movie I've seen her in is The Mask), but I think she did well. If the movie were 10 years older, Michelle Pfeiffer would have gotten her role. Ewan McGregor, I love, and this movie is definitely worthy of his talent. The costume department went out of their way to make him look silly but he was still too cute for words. And watching his character get deeper and deeper over his head really drew me in.
About the only beef I have with this movie is they never explained why some Scottish kid is working as a janitor in California, but it was good enough that I really didn't care.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Movie for Dreamers..., August 27, 2000
By 
Mara B. (Champaign, IL USA) - See all my reviews
This is one of my favorite movies, but it is definitely not for everyone. You must be extremely forgiving of the strange plot involving evil and violent angels. I think that the idea is that the angels don't understand human beings or love, and therefore rely on "jeopardy" to force Celine and Robert to fall in love, but I could well be wrong.
However, the chemistry between Ewan and Cameron makes the movie. From a great scene in which the inept kidnapper tries to make his ransom demand from a telephone booth while his victim offers him encouragement and tips on how to sound more menacing, to an unforgettable karaoke number, A Life Less Ordinary delivers a quirky romance for those who are tired of trite recycled plots. To quote Robert, "We agreed--no cliches."
As a side note to Ewan McGregor fans, you MUST see this movie. It is definitely one of Ewan's best performances, and a nice break from his darker films.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Somewhere beyond the sea..", October 25, 2000
This is a great movie! It is one of my favorite movies probabaly because I've never seen one like it. The movie opens in heaven where two people (angels..whatever) are given a mission to join man and woman in eternal bliss. And if they fail, they don't return.
Robert (Ewan McGregor) is fired from his job as a janiter. After threatening to kill his boss if he doesn't give it back, he resorts to kidnapping his rich daughter, Celine (Cameron Diaz).
As the story unfolds, Celine finds herself teaching Robert more about kidnapping than he even thought, and they end up being in it together.
The mission is a success....so far..
A wonderful storyline with brilliant acting by McGregor and Diaz. This movie has it all: love, hate, miracles, lying, stealing and so on.
Great photography and an excellent soundtrack! It's definatley worth your money!!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Calling this movie odd is understating it quite a bit, July 15, 2006
This review is from: A Life Less Ordinary (DVD)
While I enjoyed watching every actor in this movie, I have to admit that this whole thing is a mess. The plot is completely unnecessary and has the texture of something they made up as they went along and then added just a bit more confusion in the editing. However, in some odd way, I wanted to keep watching in spite of the frustrating nonsense of the story.

Robert Lewis (Ewan McGregor) is a janitor who is pushed over the edge by a powerful and sadistically cruel boss (Ian Holm). In an act of criminal stupidity, he threatens the boss with a gun in order to get his job back (yeah, right) and then ends up kidnapping his daughter, Celine (Cameron Diaz). Tied into this are two, well, angels, who are assigned to get Robert and Celine to fall in love. Two more unlikely characters for a love story have seldom been put on screen, but the plot needs it, so we go with it, kinda. The angels are somehow made mortal, kinda, and are played by Holly Hunter and Delroy Lindo. These feckless but devoted angels are so odd that they become almost the centerpiece of the movie.

There are a great many oddballs in this movie and some wonderful little bits as Robert proves how incompetent he is as a kidnapper. Celine is better at it because she was kidnapped when she was twelve. She calls on this experience to help Robert try and extract money from Daddy.

You know that Robert and Celine will end up together in the end, but you cannot fathom the strange plot devices and twists, totally unnecessary, they take to get there.

Is it a necessary movie? Absolutely not. Is it a good movie? Not really. Is it fun? Kinda. Once you start watching it, do you want to see what happens next? Yes.

Enjoy it if you can.
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A Life Less Ordinary
A Life Less Ordinary by Danny Boyle (DVD - 1999)
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