Birthday Girl (2001)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Thriller  |  1 February 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 20,999 users   Metascore: 51/100
Reviews: 158 user | 111 critic | 32 from

A thirtysomething bank clerk from St Albans has his small-town life exploded by the arrival of his Russian mail-order bride.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sophia, alias Nadia
Kate Lynn Evans ...
Clare (as Kate Evans)
Bank Manager
Robert Moseley (as Xander Armstrong)
Jo McInnes ...
D.I. O'Fetiger
Katya Barton-Chapple ...
Young Sophia
Rebecca Clarke ...
Bank Colleague
Bank Colleague


Internet love connections and mail-order brides rarely ever work out, and John should have known. Having never been lucky in the game of love and tired of waiting for the perfect woman to come along, John decides to take his chances and orders a mail-order bride from Russia online. At first, things seem perfect: his new bride Nadia is a gorgeous woman, and although she may not speak much English, her skills in the bedroom more than make up for any communication problems. When Nadia's 'cousins' unexpectedly arrive to celebrate her birthday, John is drawn into their web of corruption and crime. Written by Anna <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Somebody's In For A Big Surprise. See more »


Comedy | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

1 February 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ruleta rusa  »

Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$444,615 (Italy) (1 February 2002)


$86,101 (Brazil) (15 November 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Nicole Kidman went to the Russian Embassy in Australia for help in speaking Russian. She didn't work with any other coach on the set except the woman from the embassy. See more »


When John finds Nadia tied up in the hotel room (after her boyfriend has found out that she is pregnant), he unties her hands, but not her feet (which were tied up), there is a short fight between them, and it is seen that her feet are not tied anymore. See more »


John: Excuse me. It's two Russians are staying here. Do you know which floor they're on?
Porter: Yes, I know which floor they're on.
John: [takes a banknote out of his pocket and holds it] And which floor would that be?
Porter: [taking the banknote] We've only got one floor.
See more »


References Great Performances: Cats (1998) See more »


Funny How Love Can Be
Written by John Shakespeare (as John Carter) & Ken Lewis
Performed by The Ivy League
Courtesy of Sanctuary Records Group
See more »

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User Reviews

A good premise, but the overall film is just so-so...
22 August 2005 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

John (Ben Chaplin) is a hapless bachelor in St. Albans, looking for love in all the wrong places. So he goes online and orders a Russian mail-order bride. She arrives in the form of Nicole Kidman. Although her background is questionable and her English is fragmented, she's great in bed, so he has no complaints.

However when her "cousins" appear at his door a whole new world of deception and violence opens up for John, pulling him deeper and deeper under.

The premise for the film is fairly good, but the overall execution is just so-so. Nicole Kidman gives a really good performance (worthy of a better film) but Ben Chaplin is just OK. He slaps her around a bit, which is about as daring as his character manages to be. Anyone could play the role, so he's kind of stuck in a rut.

The movie is grungy, dark and feels independent - it's hard to imagine Hollywood royalty Nicole Kidman signing onto it, but she is really the reason this film remains interesting and engaging. Without her, I don't think I would have bothered to sit through all of it.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Am I alone in thinking it sucked Smashed_47
next time use true Russians please gmascia
Poor Kidman. arejster
Speculation on Russian stereotypes vadim121726
underrated? eternaldejecti0n-1
Why didn't he go to the police? nightcrawler71
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