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A Life Less Ordinary Details


The acclaimed trio (director Danny Boyle, producer Andrew Macdonald, scripter John Hodge) reunited for this update of '30s screwball comedies and '40s fantasies, such as John Hodge(1941), John Hodge(1946), John Hodge(1947), and the 1946 John Hodge (co-directed by Macdonald's grandfather, Emeric Pressburger). Tossed together for $12 million, the result is a combination salad, a surreal salmagundi with an added animated sequence for lagniappe. In Heaven, Gabriel (Dan Hedaya) sends angels O'Reilly (Holly Hunter) and Jackson (Delroy Lindo) down to Earth to make two people fall in love. If the angels fail, they must remain on Earth. The target couple: well-to-do Celine (Cameron Diaz) and impoverished, aspiring novelist Robert (Ewan McGregor), a janitor at the corporation owned by her wealthy father, Naville (Ian Holm). Robert loses his job, kidnaps Celine, and the two retreat to a mountain hideout where they discuss splitting the ransom. O'Reilly and Jackson plan to make Robert and Celine love each other by putting them in jeopardy, so the two angels get hired on by Naville as bounty hunters. Although Robert and Celine argue, they also sing and dance together at a local karaoke bar, a scene evocative of both Dennis Potter's Dennis Potter and the memorable karaoke performance by Cameron Diaz in Dennis Potter The angels make few gains, but when Jackson is on the brink of killing Robert, Celine comes to his rescue. Naville cancels Celine's credit card, so she robs a bank. Robert is shot during the robbery, and Celine has dentist Elliot (Stanley Tucci) remove the bullet. Robert awakens, finds the two together, and knocks out Elliot, prompting an argument that leads Celine and Robert to separate. Plagued by their own problems, the angels kidnap Celine themselves, and as complications mount, Gabriel eventually has God intervene. Filmed in Utah, although Hodge originally planned the story to take place in France and England. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

  • Release date:October 24, 1997


Ewan McGregor
as Robert
Cameron Diaz
as Celine
Holly Hunter
as O'Reilly
Delroy Lindo
as Jackson
Ian Holm
as Naville
Ian McNeice
as Mayhew
Stanley Tucci
as Elliot
Dan Hedaya
as Gabriel
Tony Shalhoub
as Al
K.K. Dodds
as Lily
Maury Chaykin
as Tod
Judith Ivey
as Celine's Mother
Mel Winkler
as Francis 'Frank' Naville


Danny Boyle
Andrew Macdonald
John Hodge
Brian Tufano
David Arnold
Composer (Music Score)
Masahiro Hirakubo
Kave Quinn
Production Designer
Rachael Fleming
Costume Designer
Paul Hamblin
Sound/Sound Designer
Douglas Cameron
Sound/Sound Designer
Matias Alvarez
First Assistant Director
Adam Shankman
Donna Isaacson
Mike Mort
Animation Director
Jeff Jensen
Stunts Coordinator
Jeff Jensen
Second Unit Director