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Birthday Girl (2001)

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

Director:

Jez Butterworth
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicole Kidman ... Sophia, alias Nadia
Ben Chaplin ... John
Vincent Cassel ... Alexei
Mathieu Kassovitz ... Yuri
Kate Lynn Evans Kate Lynn Evans ... Clare (as Kate Evans)
Stephen Mangan ... Bank Manager
Alexander Armstrong ... Robert Moseley (as Xander Armstrong)
Sally Phillips ... Karen
Jo McInnes Jo McInnes ... Waitress
Ben Miller ... Concierge
Jonathan Aris ... D.I. O'Fetiger
Katya Barton-Chapple Katya Barton-Chapple ... Young Sophia
Rebecca Clarke Rebecca Clarke ... Bank Colleague
Mark Gatiss ... Porter
Raj Ghatak ... Bank Colleague
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Storyline

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 <dimenxia@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

1 February 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ruleta rusa See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,370,809, 3 February 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$4,919,896, 17 February 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After this film, Nicole Kidman recommended director Jez Butterworth to her friend Hugh Jackman. They two of them collaborated on the acclaimed stage play "The River" after Kidman's recommendations. See more »

Goofs

When John knocks out Alexei with the guitar it clearly misses by quite some distance and doesn't break. See more »

Quotes

Alexei: [Disdainfully, to John] You, with your nice job and your big house, and you still have to pay for a wife.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jersey Girl (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
Composed by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
Published by Williamson Music / Warner Chappel Music Ltd.
PolyGram International Publishing Inc.
Performed by Bob Sakek
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Black comedy takes some odd right and left turns, never seeming fully satisfied with itself...
14 July 2010 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Mild-mannered bachelor bank teller near London advertises for a Russian wife on the internet, and is disappointed when the young lady who shows up at the airport doesn't speak any English (she's a willing sport in bed, however); when two of her Russian buddies show up at his house, the man realizes he's been set up to rob his own bank, yet still feels a connection to this strange, sexy woman. Peculiar, darkly comic series of confusions, double crosses, bedroom fetishes (and ants!) written by the team of Tom and Jez Butterworth (Jez also directed, while Steve Butterworth produced). It was obviously a labor of love for the group, and they could not have found better leads than Nicole Kidman and handsome Ben Chaplin, both excellent in their roles. Still, the script disappoints--it's all over the map--and by the third act we've lost something intrinsic in the characters. Chaplin (who amusingly resembles both Joaquin Phoenix and Steve Carrell) is never humiliated on-screen (he's treated badly but always rebounds and looks after himself); still, the man's anger is released in odd ways (too much slapping) and we never understand his attachment to Kidman's Russian vixen. Is this an emotional connection or is it purely physical? Well-made movie has some fine, prickly moments (mostly in the first hour). It loses itself in its circular twists, swallowing its tail in the bargain, however the film is still a decent attempt at something different. ** from ****


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