A Life Less Ordinary (1993)
An unusual twist on the idea of kidnapper falling for abductor, A Life Less Ordinary sets forth the premise that our love lives are influenced by undercover angels, working for Heaven. Here, Heaven operates like a fictional American police department, with the angel Gabriel (Dan Hedaya) being the Captain. Gabriel oversees several sets of angel partners, whose job it is to ensure that every human finds lasting love on earth. One such partnership – O’Reilly (Holly Hunter) and Jackson (Delroy Lindo) – has repeatedly failed in their mission, and so Gabriel issues a threat: Succeed with the next case, or face eternal banishment to earth.
Their next case proves to be something of a challenge, however. Celine (Cameron Diaz) is the overly privileged daughter of a wealthy businessman (Ian Holm), and Robert (Ewan McGregor) is a janitor working for Celine’s Dad. When his life spectacularly and rapidly falls apart, he spontaneously kidnaps Celine – but proves to be notably incompetent at crime.
Celine takes charge of her own abduction, and works with Robert to extort her father – while the pair quietly fall in love. The task for O’Reilly and Jackson is complicated by the refusal of Celine and Robert to admit their feelings, however, and the earthly lovebirds continually reject each other. The angelic team consequently become increasingly desperate and amplifies the peril faced by their human subjects.
This darkly comedic, under-appreciated film, written by John Hodge and directed by Danny Boyle, creates a flawless world, where romantic destiny and fate are influenced by these celestial beings – whose motivations are actually just as simple as the humans whose lives they manipulate.