Birthday Girl

  • 15
  • Jez Butterworth (2001)
  • UK / US
  • 89 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Primarily worth seeing for Nicole Kidman's downbeat and brave performance as a Russian mail-order bride, this blackly comic film suffers from a genre identity crisis. Ben Chaplin plays the suburban bank clerk (with chronic side-parting) who summons Kidman to England via the internet. But once she's ensconced in his home, Chaplin is disappointed with her lack of English and grunge style, although he soon forgives her when she compensates for her lack of conversation with action in the bedroom. As love arrives for Chaplin, so do two men claiming to be Kidman's relatives and within seconds all he holds dear is in danger. In the end, this well-meaning film is not quite funny enough to succeed as a romantic comedy, nor hard enough to tread Neil LaBute territory.

Plot Summary

Romantic comedy drama starring Ben Chaplin and Nicole Kidman. Lovelorn bank clerk John Buckingham requests a mail-order Russian bride online and is delighted with the beautiful Nadia, despite her lack of English. But when two shady "cousins" arrive for her birthday, he realises his enigmatic fiancée has a dangerous past.

Cast and crew

Cast

Sophia / "Nadia"
Nicole Kidman
John Buckingham
Ben Chaplin
Alexei
Vincent Cassel
Yuri
Mathieu Kassovitz
Clare
Kate Evans
Bank manager
Stephen Mangan
Robert Moseley
Alexander Armstrong
Karen
Sally Phillips
Waitress
Jo McInnes
Tim
Mark Gatiss
Duty sergeant
Steve Pemberton
Porter
Reece Shearsmith

Crew

Director
Jez Butterworth

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
Film Four
Guidance: 
Some violence, swearing, sex scenes and.
Available on video and DVD
Released 28 Jun 2002
Certificate 15
Categories
Comedy
Drama

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