Birthday Girl - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Birthday Girl Reviews

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½ March 28, 2016
This is really Ben Chaplin's movie. He comes across as such a charming dork, and his character and Nicole Kidman mach such a cute couple. Cute story.
August 31, 2015
i didn't really care much about this movie
½ March 27, 2015
listed as com-dram I didn't find anything funny in this drama.
½ March 21, 2015
Not too, quirky, dark comedy thriller. Both Kidman and Chaplin give good, convincing performances here...Kidman's Russian role as the more challenging. Not a masterpiece, but certainly enjoyable.
½ September 29, 2014
Mail ordering a bride from Russia is one of the worst ideas in the history of mankind, but yet again, I've never been lonely enough to turn towards desperation. Yet John (Ben Chaplin) is a man you can somehow sympathize with. He works a harshly boring job as a banker, lives in the middle of nowhere, doesn't have a social life, and has a micro-sized amount of self-confidence. As he surfs dating website "From Russia with Love", it's hard to judge him. Well, judge him completely. Surely, most with common sense wouldn't look online to marry a woman they've never met, but what does John have to lose?
He settles on Nadia (Nicole Kidman), whose looks cloud his judgement - upon her arrival, it's discovered that she doesn't speak a word of English. But John learns to love her (learn, or trade disappointment for settlement?), and it's an accomplishment, considering they can't even carry on a conversation.
On her birthday, Nadia and John are greeted by a pair of men (Vincent Cassel and Mathieu Kassovitz) who claim to be Nadia's cousins, but after it turns out that something much shadier is on the horizon, John is forced to question whether or not he is willing to look past Nadia's faults and continue their romance.
Movies contain many life lessons, and a well-known one is that it isn't a great idea to marry a person you've never met. In Franšois Truffaut's "Mississippi Mermaid", Jean-Paul Belmondo exchanged rings with Catherine Deneuve, and, despite her ethereal beauty, she turned out to be mysterious in extremely dangerous ways, to say the least.
The difference between "Mississippi Mermaid" and "Birthday Girl" is that the former had much more to do with plot, and Belmondo and Deneuve's chemistry was poker hot.
"Birthday Girl" is thoroughly unconvincing when it comes to the relationship between John and Nadia. It's a film that can't decide if it wants to be a romantic comedy or a caper - although calling it uneven wouldn't be completely true - and the writing isn't strong enough to entirely convince us of the situation.
In just 30 minutes, we are supposed to believe that John and Nadia have built a strong enough relationship to make the criminal twist more of a shock; later on, we're forced to accept that, despite all the lies and deception, a romance should bloom.
Butterworth does all he can to convince us that opposites actually might attract, but the story is much too flimsy to convince us of anything. Although the writing is subpar, the leads are not. Even when there isn't a screenplay to support them entirely, they have enough charisma to evoke something. Kidman's Russian accent is perfectly intact, and Chaplin seems born to forever play the na´ve guy in the middle of an awful situation.
If "Birthday Girl" hadn't come out when Kidman was all over the map with "The Others", "Moulin Rouge!", and "The Hours", it may have been considered above average. But it sits within a crevasse in a glacier of masterpieces, and it simply isn't good enough to escape.
July 21, 2014
It's commendable for Kidman's and Ben Chaplin's performances, but besides that there is nothing much else here to like. The tone is wildly uneven and the film can't decide what it wants to be.
July 12, 2014
I actually really liked this movie, the underlining humor made me LOL quite a few times, that being said it was definitely predictable and nothing really new. Decent enough to watch.
½ July 12, 2014
I personally really enjoyed this movie though it was really predictable. I still LOL quite a few times and just like the underlining humor throughout.
December 28, 2013
Besides bad criticism, I think this is a very decent film. Not bad. Depending on your taste of films it's not one for all but it is great for the rest. I like the story line twists and turns.
December 7, 2013
A thirtysomething bank clerk (Ben Chaplin) from St Albans has his small-town life exploded by the arrival of his Russian mail-order bride (Nicole Kidman).

also stars Vincent Cassel, Mathieu Kassovitz, Kate Evans, Rebecca Clarke, Sue Maund, Alan Stocks and Ben Miller.

directed by Jez Butterworth.
½ August 9, 2013
Ein leichter und unterhaltsamer Film, an einem nassen, grauen Sonntag. Obwohl die Geschichte nichts Neues erzńhlt, muss man doch ab und zu schmunzeln. Kidman hat noch nie schńrfer ausgesehen!
March 29, 2013
Good performance by Ben Chaplin, loveable character and you felt sorry for him during the movie. This movie has a bit of everything which is good, if you can mix humor and seriousness like that in a film, you know it's a good film. Makes you laugh and think, watch it. Also really great ending.
½ February 21, 2013
Nicole Kidman was sexy and believable, but the villains weren't very strong.
February 7, 2013
Directed by playwright Jez Butterworth, who had got into cinema with Mojo (1997), here he got lucky and was able to attract a big name or two. It should have broke Butterworth into cinema big time, and he could have gone on to better things. However, it's release was delayed, and the short buzz it had got during filming was all but forgotten by the time it came out. Shame, as it's a clever and very twisty along the way. In St. Albans, bank clerk John Buckingham (Ben Chaplin) is very shy and hopeless with relationships. So, he goes on the internet, and orders a Russian mail-order bride, who arrives in the form of Nadia (Nicole Kidman), who despite the description, cannot speak a word of English. But, she and Ben soon bond, and it seems like this could actually work. But then there's a knock at the door, and Nadia's "cousins" Yuri (Mathieu Kassovitz) and his friend Alexei (Vincent Cassel) arrive to celebrate Nadia's birthday. Ben is bemused by their arrival, and after a few days, asks them to leave, but it's only then he discovers their true intentions. It's a good, gripping drama but it has some moments of hilarious black comedy thoughout, Butterworth gets the best from his cast, and it's a different sort of part for Kidman to play, but it has brilliant support from Alexander Armstrong, Stephen Mangan and The League of Gentlemen!!
February 6, 2013
I really don't like Nicole Kidman as an actress and this film only reaffirms that.
½ February 3, 2013
Better than most comedy Russian prostitute bride films. S'alright.
February 1, 2013
Great suspense movie
January 27, 2013
Reads like a Brit Rom Com, plays like a Brit Rom Com, and then the lead robs his own bank and finds himself in bondage to a bidet at a motel to avoid a couple of Russian thugs cutting up Nicole Kidman (his mail order Russian bride). All the rest of the Brit are familiar faces on the Chanel 4 comedy circuit.
November 3, 2012
Good enough to kill your time but nothing more!
October 11, 2012
A quirky black comedy. Good but not great
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