Life Less Ordinary, A (1997)

A Life Less Ordinary (1997), directed by Danny Boyle.

The setup is a classic screwball fantasy. The angel Gabriel (Dan Hedaya, of course) has given two angels one last chance. Holly Hunter and Delroy Lindo are terrible at their earthly matchmaking assignments and they hate going to Earth -- bad food, bad clothes, etc. They do seem confused and bewildered by the mechanics of attraction ("First, we put them in peril...") and tend to lose the thread.

Their orders are the improbable matchup of slacker would-be-novelist Ewan McGregor with rich, spoiled and incredibly svelt Cameron Diaz. He's the world's most inept kidnapper. She is better at it -- being a bit mental -- and can also do bank robbery.

Ah, well. The course of true love never runs smoothly. It's all silly and absurd but finding your soul-mate is serious business.

Young Timothy Olyphant has a small part. Other well-loved faces: Ian Holm, Stanley Tucci, Maury Chaykin, Tony Shalhoub and Ian McNeice.

I recommend it to those who like the odd and off-beat. Critics were unkind and it didn't do well. I like everyone in it, which helps. Holly Hunter particularly enjoys doing bizarre voices and playing roles an angel may have learned from old movies and cheap novels.

The closing credits are an odd little claymation sequence reprising all the characters. We see the wedding and the happy couple fly off to Scotland.

Danny Boyle's third film. David Arnold score.

My thumbnails are from a 4:3 letterboxed DVD, which as far as I can tell is the only version released in North America. At least the 2.35 aspect ratio is correct. According to DVDCompare some of the DVD imports are anamorphic but most are cropped to 1.78. Japan has the winning DVD.

Koch Media has a region B Blu-ray in Germany but it is also cropped, having both 1.33 and 1.85 versions. What's up with that?