CINEMA: IN A WAY, EXTRAORDINARY

ANGELS. AN HEIRESS. LOVERS DANCING IN A KARAOKE BAR. THE TRAINSPOTTING CREW GETS ROMANTIC. WELL, KIND OF

The great thing about A Life Less Ordinary is its reckless lack of cultural calculation. In an age ruled by the demographic imperative, it is bound to confuse, if not actually offend, its natural constituencies--nostalgic oldsters, transgressive youngsters--who are antithetical in the first place. Nor in its weirdness does it offer anything but befuddlement for the general movie audience out for a good, conventionally generic time.

Its very title is mystifying. It seems to belong on a memoir by a minor, faintly boring old poet. It perches rather uneasily atop a story in which Robert, a sweet, dim maintenance man (a...

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