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Birthday Girl
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Birthday Girl More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Worst movie with bad story ever

Author: lia00027 from Indonesia
27 November 2002

What were Nicole and Ben thinking when say yes to this film. Oh very awful With bad story. England always made FILM worst, even I know that England is have many good artist.

I'm very disapointed with this movie, the story line is bad with no emotion think. This can make people feel the thing. They want entertain in house after work not become so hate because this movie.


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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

suspense? BAH!

Author: sonophobe from sydney. australia..
11 August 2002

well... i love Nicole Kidman.. but my god girl what are you doing..

while the individual performances of Ben Chaplin and Nicole where amazing as always .. as far as suspense goes.. this movie rated a 1/10

im sorry .. whlie the story may have been inventive and new.. the plot and situations where lacking something... whats the word... excitement?

whlie not entirely predictable it was somewhat run of the mill!

as far as movies I've seen this year.. as my rating suggests i give it 3/10 merely for performances...

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A waste of a good cast

25 November 2002

Birthday Girl doesn't know what it wants to be - is it a comedy,, is it a just doesn't know. What could have been a very funny or touching film ends up in no-man's land. The premise is original enough to have warranted a script full of interesting scenarios but hardly delivers any and ends up petering out. This is a real shame if you look at the cast - it's very solid all the way through but they don't get the chance to shine. Very disappointing.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Like day old pizza

Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
13 August 2002

Some will hate it, some will love it, and most will find it unsatisfying and marginally palatable. "Birthday Girl" tells of an Englishman (Chaplin) who orders a Russian bride via the Internet and gets more than he bargained for. No, Kidman is not sexalicious in spite of what the advertising suggests. Instead, "B-Day Girl" squeaks by with a meager make-it-up-as-you-go plot, poor chemistry between Kidman and Chaplin, and wouldn't fit any genre if it was hammered in. A silly mix of dry comedy and drama which doesn't end as much as it quits. Mediocre stuff best saved for broadcast. (C)

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This film had so much potential...

Author: mistoppi from Finland
6 April 2016

... But it didn't quite reach it.

The story is interesting and it could be very thrilling. All the characters seem unique, but they just feel distant and even if few of them clearly have several layers, all those layers are left weirdly superficial. While you watch the movie, you don't really care for them. They just are, and they don't feel as real as well written fictional characters usually true. The cast is amazing, especially for Nicole Kidman. Still, all these good elements feel wasted on this film. For some reason a good story isn't so interesting on the screen, or at least the film-makers weren't able to make it interesting. Birthday Girl is left bland.

Several scenes were obviously meant to be shocking and thrilling for the viewer, but as they passed they had little to no impact on me. They felt distant and in a bad way.

In general this film is quite decent and it may even be worth watching. It's average, or slightly below that. I feel like the story is interesting enough to be remade by someone with unique skills, who can make it stand out from the typical movies of this type.

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Nicole Kidman alluring in weak comedy/thriller

Author: SnoopyStyle
17 August 2015

John (Ben Chaplin) is a quiet small town bank worker. He goes to pick up his Russian mail-order bride Nadia from the airport. He is surprised when the woman (Nicole Kidman) speaks no English and is sexually aggressive. Her cousin Yuri (Mathieu Kassovitz) and his friend Alexei (Vincent Cassel) shows up on her birthday. After a fight, Alexei takes Nadia hostage and forces John to steal from the bank.

I don't find this to be a funny comedy. It has a certain thrilling element but it needs more tension. Vincent Cassel is threatening but nothing special. Chaplin is OK and not outstanding. Nicole Kidman is absolutely alluring. The rest is a bit weak. This has to be either wackier for comedy or darker for the tension.

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Birthday Girl

Author: Jackson Booth-Millard from United Kingdom
25 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I thought I had seen this film already years ago, I certainly knew the leading actress, but I did in fact watch it for the first time, it was rated average, but I read about what it was about, I was willing to try it. Basically lonely bank clerk John Buckingham (Ben Chaplin) from St Albans, in southern Hertfordshire, England, orders a mail-order bride named Nadia (Nicole Kidman) from Russia on the Internet, she is pretty and friendly, but he unsatisfied when he realises she cannot speak any English. He tries calling the company he ordered her from constantly to send her back, he is uncomfortable and shy, but she is sexually bold, and he slowly forms a bond with her as she gives him sexual pleasure. Later on, trying to learn English words from a Russian to English dictionary he gives her, Nadia reveals it is her birthday, and later that day a man she introduces as her cousin Yuri (Amélie's Mathieu Kassovitz) and his friend Alexei (Black Swan's Vincent Cassel) arrive to celebrate the birthday with them. Alexei soon shows he has a temper, after a violent dispute he takes Nadia and holds her hostage, demanding a ransom from John, he does care for her and to get the money is forced to steal from the bank he has worked for ten years. After the ransom is paid, he realises that this was all a big con, Nadia, Yuro and Alexei are in cahoots and criminals, Alexei is actually Nadia's boyfriend, John learns that they have scammed other men the same way in Switzerland and Germany among others. The criminals take John prisoner, stripping him down to his underwear and tying him up to a motel toilet, he does manage to free himself, and he also finds Alexei has left Nadia behind after discovering that she is pregnant. John gets himself dressed and has a scrap with Nadia, but they eventually calm and sit together, it is then that she reveals in fact she could speak English all along, and her name is not Nadia, he plans to take her to the police to turn her in and clear his name for the bank robbery. However John sympathises with Nadia and decides against this, they go the airport where he leaves her for a short time, it is there that Alexei kidnaps her, he wants her to have the baby, but John rescues her, tying Alexei to a chair and also making sure Yuri is out of the way also. In the end Nadia is snuck through the airport security gates, with John using Alexei's passport to pose as him, getting away also with the thousands he stole in his coat pockets, Nadia suggests he should come with her back to Russia, calling it a long date, John eventually agrees, and she reveals her real name is Sophia. Also starring Kate Lynn Evans as Clare, Stephen Mangan as Bank Manager, Alexander Armstrong as Robert Moseley, Sally Phillips as Karen, Jo McInnes as Waitress, Mark Gatiss as Tim the Porter, Steve Pemberton as Duty Sergeant, Reece Shearsmith as Porter and Ben Miller as Concierge. Kidman gives a downbeat and interesting performance as the Russian mail-order bride, Chaplin does okay as the regular Brit pulled into a messed situation, Cassel is a good choice as the moody villain, and it is interesting to see many popular British comedians younger in the supporting cast. It is supposed to make you laugh this film, I maybe tittered in places, but it is much more about the crime aspect than anything, all the conning stuff almost overwhelms, I agree with critics that it suffers from genre identity crisis, but you can excuse it for having a bit of a love story you can follow, not a very funny film, but not a terrible romantic comedy crime drama. Worth watching!

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... quite a few years have passed, and you know, it's still a bunch of fun..

Author: bjarias from United States
6 May 2015

Almost a decade and a half gone by... man was/ is she something. Not all great actors make great films. But the truly special talent have a knack of coming up with some pretty exceptional 'small' films, that really are enjoyable viewing. This movie might have worked with a lesser name, but NK own's the part.. and when you figure how commanding a presence she is on screen, not to overpower the material in such circumstance is an achievement all in itself. She has a disarming ease on screen, and it can lead to a tendency to discount her talent. But make no mistake about it, she is one of the leading actors of her day.. and unquestionably, all being good, we shall have many future memorable moments to share with her.

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ultimately doesn't make it

Author: blanche-2 from United States
19 April 2015

"Birthday Girl" isn't a bad movie at all, it's just not great. That's a shame because it had potential.

A skilled director like Hitchcock or Preston Sturges could start a film as one thing and morph it into another. Psycho and Sullivan's Travels are two examples.

This starts off as a light romantic film, goes to a dark place, and comes back to a light note. But it doesn't really work.

Ben Chaplin plays John, a lonely bank employee who works long hours. He tries to meet women online but finally gives up and orders a mail order bride. She shows up as Nadia (Nicole Kidman) who doesn't speak any English and who smokes. This is not what he asked for, so he wants her to go back. Though she can't understand him, every time he makes a noise about wanting her to go back, she jumps him and they have sex. It's great sex, so John re-evaluates.

One night two Russian friends of Nadia's drop in on them. From there on, it ceases being a romantic film and turns into something more treacherous.

I have to agree with others on this board - I don't think the character of John acted in character when he does what he does. I think he would have gone to the police. It's okay in a comedy to have plot holes, it's even okay if the drama is good enough, but in this case, the incongruities were obvious and took you out of the story. And it's fine if people act out of character if we can see a change in them that causes the change. We don't here.

The acting is very good, with Nicole Kidman extremely convincing as a beautiful Russian girl, Vincent Cassel and Mathieu Kassovitz do a good job as Nadia's friends.

I would like to have seen this overseen or rewritten by John Cusack or someone of that ilk. As it is, it's just serviceable.

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Okay British film

Author: smatysia ( from Houston
11 April 2015

It seemed at times that the filmmakers tried to downplay Nicole Kidman's beauty in this movie, but it shone through anyway. I like her look as a brunette. This film seems to have gotten a lot of criticism about it not fitting neatly into any genre. Why should it need to? The movie should do what it does, and then, if applicable, it can be pigeonholed by critics. I agree with a previous comment that this movie would likely not have worked if set in America. Not enough contrast, like there is here, between the boisterous Russians and the supremely uptight English. It must have been a lot of work for Kidman and the French actors to sound convincing in Russian (at least to a non-Russian speaker.) This film is okay.

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