Birthday Girl Reviews

  • Jan 01, 2020

    Wow. To think Nicole Kidman, a future Oscar winner, would be in a film this bad is frankly downright depressing. The main blame falls on the director, who had no sense of drama, pace or structure. But the "leading man" was made of wood, and the script lacked imagination, flair or passion. The one redeeming value, and the only thing that kept me watching, was Kidman's sublime beauty and the sex scenes she was in. I was impressed with her command of Russian though. Avoid this one even if it's on cable.

    Wow. To think Nicole Kidman, a future Oscar winner, would be in a film this bad is frankly downright depressing. The main blame falls on the director, who had no sense of drama, pace or structure. But the "leading man" was made of wood, and the script lacked imagination, flair or passion. The one redeeming value, and the only thing that kept me watching, was Kidman's sublime beauty and the sex scenes she was in. I was impressed with her command of Russian though. Avoid this one even if it's on cable.

  • Feb 16, 2018

    Not bad. Kept me interested the whole way through.

    Not bad. Kept me interested the whole way through.

  • Mar 23, 2017

    Simple story about a guy who orders a Russian mail order bride and it turns out to be a scam. I enjoyed it. Not a big fan of Chaplin's. But Nicole Kidman is as always just amazing.

    Simple story about a guy who orders a Russian mail order bride and it turns out to be a scam. I enjoyed it. Not a big fan of Chaplin's. But Nicole Kidman is as always just amazing.

  • Mar 22, 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.

    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.

  • Aug 31, 2015

    i didn't really care much about this movie

    i didn't really care much about this movie

  • Mar 27, 2015

    listed as com-dram I didn't find anything funny in this drama.

    listed as com-dram I didn't find anything funny in this drama.

  • Mar 21, 2015

    Not too bad...fun, 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.

    Not too bad...fun, 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.

  • Sep 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 François 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 naïve 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.

    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 François 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 naïve 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.

  • Jul 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.

    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.

  • Jul 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.

    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.