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A Life Less Ordinary (1997)

A comedy for anyone who’s ever been in danger… of falling in love

Directed by:

Danny Boyle

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 103 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United Kingdom, United States

Danny Boyle’s 1997 follow-up to the likes of ‘Shallow Grave’ and Trainspotting probably isn’t something many people saw coming. True, it’s a romantic comedy with some black humour and a smattering of fairly graphic violence – but it’s still a romantic comedy. Yet again Boyle recruits Ewan McGregor to take the male lead, with the Crieff laddie this time playing a bungling kidnapper whose victim (Cameron Diaz) turns out to be considerably more assured in the field of criminality than he is. Where the “less ordinary” aspect apparently comes into play is the ongoing presence of a couple of angels (Delroy Lindo and Holly Hunter) charged with ensuring the squabbling pair fall in luurrrve. Heaven, you see, appears to have become a bit of a bureaucratic nightmare, and God wants results. As rom-coms go, it’s a decent enough time-filler and certainly it’s not half as bad as it’s often made out to be. The performances from each of the leads – also including Ian Holm as Diaz’ moneybags father – is passable, and there are enough quickly-moving set-pieces and semi-funny lines to hold onto your attention. There’s also a catchy soundtrack which includes the likes of Underworld, Beck, REM, Oasis and even Bobby Darin, though it’s a pity Boyle chooses to use it so obtrusively, often at the expense of audible dialogue. By far the most offensive thing about the film is McGregor’s rubbish mid-90s Britpop hairstyle, but then again it’s reassuring for the rest of us that someone looking quite so ridiculous is still capable of pulling Cameron Diaz. Even if he DOES have to kidnap her first.

It's Got: An out-of-place claymation accompaniment to the end credits.

It Needs: A trip to the barbers.

DVD Extras Interviews with cast and crew, and various behind-the-scenes snippets. DVD Extras Rating: 3/10

Alternatives:

Dogma

Summary

A reasonably entertaining romp that, despite the title, is pretty – well – ordinary.

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A Life Less Ordinary -  Movie Still - Cameron Diaz and Ewan McGregor click for full size image A Life Less Ordinary - Movie Still - Cameron Diaz click for full size image A Life Less Ordinary - DVD Cover click for full size image
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