A Life Less Ordinary

From the makers of trainspotting: a film less interesting. Despite the presence of various talents in cameo roles (Ian Holm, Stanley Tucci), the inept appearance of Cameron Diaz (a pretty face, but smiles aren't everything) and slipshod performance of Ewan McGregor (Ewan seems to be sliding his way too relaxedly through this one) make one decide that an Alien Love Triangle has got to be better.

A life less Ordinary'
Copyright; POLYGRAM

Two celestial cops, O' Reilly (Holly Hunter) and Jackson (Delroy Lindo), are given the assignment to make wannabe author and overall loser Robert (Ewan McGregor) and rich, spoiled, caustic princess Celine (Cameron Diaz) fall in love with each other. If they fail, the cops will be destined to remain on this godless planet Earth for eternity and neither one of them is looking forward to that. Robert is working as a janitor for the Naville Corporation, but is really an aspiring author writing an expose on the love child of Marilyn Monroe and JFK. Abruptly fired due to downsizing, losing his girlfriend to an aerobics instructor and being evicted because of overdue rent, he decides to seek vengeance on his ex-employer. Demanding his job back, but getting nowhere, he kidnaps Naville's daughter Celine, but, before he has a chance to utter the word "ransom," she assists in the kidnapping and delegates herself as his accomplice. Robert is a pretty useless desperado, so Celine has to take control of the operation. Whenever the wire-crossed lovers get off the path, the cops from the clouds come in to lend a helping hand. While traveling along the road, Celine is informed, to her chagrin, that father has cancelled her credit cards and so, naturally, she insists that Robert help her hold up a bank. Robert has an unexpected premonition of her covered in blood. It seems they might be falling in love after all, but their constant bickering always gets in the way. Deep down at heart, they're both okay, but, let's face it, Ruthless People are funnier.

This hodgepodge results from a confusing and disconnected screenplay with attendant bad acting which, having realized the many shortcomings with which it is saddled, attempts, in desperation, to paste an explanation onto the end and address it, in unabashed shamelessness, directly those who have managed to sit through the entire film. Director Danny Boyle, Producer Andrew MacDonald, and writer John Hodge are a collaborative team that have it in their fingers to captivate an audience, but this time they've let us down, folks. One has to give it to the team for trying to shift their subject matter every time they enter a new project, ranging thus far from comic thriller to contemporary social comedy to fantasy love story with comedic overtones, but they seemed to have lost their accelerative power on this last venture. What might have been a successful and captivating tale, not dissimilar to Powell and Pressburger's A Matter of Life and Death (the last legendary filmmaker notably being the grandfather of producer MacDonald), could have been better titled "A Lifeless Ordinary".

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett