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A life less ordinary

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Kidnapping, blackmail, extortion, karaoke - what some people will do for love.

Robert (Ewan McGregor) is one of life's losers. He works as a janitor in a giant corporation, but dreams of something... less ordinary, while he writes what he hopes will be the great American popular novel. Sharp-tongued Celine (Cameron Diaz) on the other hand, has never wanted for anything in her short and pampered life as the daughter of Robert's boss, Naville (Ian Holm). The grossest indignity she can imagine is having her credit card rejected. But, like Robert, she's bored.

In a normal life these two souls would never even meet - but who said this story was normal? In Heaven two celestial cops (Holly Hunter and Delroy Lindo) are given the toughest assignment of their career by Gabriel: to make Celine and Robert fall in love.

From the makers of Trainspotting.

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

A really depressing film, a film which I really hated.

I hated A life less ordinary because it is so good. I was depressed by it because it is so good. That's one less really good film for me to make.

All the vigour, excitement, sex, gore, action, fun, horror and joy of Shallow grave and Trainspotting are taken in a completely new direction. A story that is too bizarre to be real but too real to be fiction, dialogue that travels at the speed of light, more twists and turns than a ride in a Melbourne taxi, Lurhmanesque flights of fancy, all packaged in a romantic comedy that takes itself less seriously than any romantic comedy I have ever seen: raising the genre to new heights and taking the piss all at the same time.

What's more important is that it has Ewan McGregor, who has a sexy Scottish accent (oops, all Scottish accents are sexy). All he needs are pointy ears. Heaven help me if I ever meet a Scottish Vulcan. Meanwhile, Ewan's performance just makes me want to run out and get lots of money so I can direct films in which I can cast Ewan. Legendary.

Cameron Diaz presents a completely different shade of spoilt rich girl from the perky whatever her name was in My best friend's wedding: tough, aggressive, hard and bitchy. Holly and Delroy are so off the planet that they could only be dead people who ended up in Heaven, like Bonny and Clyde on acid. I didn't like Ian Holm's character, who came across as rather one-dimensional, but I have to find something to not like or my day wouldn't be complete.

Softer than its predecessors, A life less ordinary still manages to be one of the better films of all time. Ewan has a great line in Gucci shirts, too.

Security censorship classification

M (Medium level language, medium level violence)

Not for public release in Australia before date

13 November 1997

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