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Overall Rating
3.21

Awesome: 2.33%
Worth A Look: 37.21%
Average46.51%
Pretty Bad: 6.98%
Total Crap: 6.98%

5 reviews, 13 user ratings


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Birthday Girl
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by Brian McKay

"Nicole Kidman chain smokes, speaks Russian, and shows her ass - sign me up!"
3 stars

Okay, this is not Nicole's best film, especially after the likes of MOULIN ROUGE, but Goddamit, she's in it, and that's enough to make it watchable at least once. Even when she looks like a strung out Russian whore, all she has to do is flash that little smile, and I melt like buttah!

The divine Nicole plays "Nadia", a Russian mail-order (or rather, internet-order) bride who has been "purchased" by John (Ben Chaplin). John is a lowly English bank teller who lives alone and has grown weary of choosing between celibacy and pornography. After being smitten with Nadia's picture, he sends several thousand pounds to the mail-order bride broker (a legit-sounding name for white-slavin' pimp?).

When Nadia shows up at Heathrow with bags in hand, she is as beautiful as her picture, but nothing else about her lives up to the description. Contrary to John's expectations, she doesn't speak a word of English except "Yes". She also smokes and throws up a lot (and no, she's not carsick).

John is quite upset at the fact that his loverly new bride doesn't even speak his language after all that money he paid (He should have gone with an asian mail-order bride. She probably still wouldn't speak English, but at least they're cheaper . . . or, uh, so I've heard). In fact, he is so upset that he begins calling the bride broker service and leaving frantic messages which never get a response. The only reason he ends up not sending her away (besides the fact that she looks like Nicole Kidman) is because she puts out early and often.

With sex as their only common bond, they trudge along in their relationship until John decides to make the best of it and try to learn some Russian so that he can teach her some english. Things start getting better, until a couple of Nadia's "friends" from Russia show up as unexpected house guests and things take an unexpected turn for the worst.

Drive-In Triple Feature Nicole's Gettin' Naked Again Picks for Birthday Girl:

Eyes Wide Shut: Besides being Kubrick's last film (and arguably one of his best), Nicole gets naked. Down side: Tom Cruise gets naked too. Balancing factor: Lots of other women get naked and have a masked orgy.

Dead Calm: Hitchcock-like thriller on the high seas with Sam Neill, a yacht full of dead people, a psychotic Billy Zane, and, you guessed it, Nicole gettin' naked!

BIRTHDAY GIRL, despite the fluffy-sounding title, is not the simple romantic comedy it appears to be in the first half. The sudden shift in gears halfway through the film will either suck you in or put you off, depending on your expectations. The film falters in the final moments with an unlikely upbeat ending, but the rest of the movie's momentum is enough to carry it through - if barely. Chaplin portrays a likeable enough loser underdog, And Nicole's sexiness is only amplified by the Russian accent. And besides - SHE SHOWS HER BUTT.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2048&reviewer=258
originally posted: 10/31/02 11:02:42
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User Comments

6/06/10 PAUL SHORTT DARK, UNCONVINCING AND UNSATISFYING 1 stars
6/06/05 rhatas refreshingly different role and performance from kidman - an oddly fascinating blend 4 stars
8/10/03 Koh lanta Vincent cassel and nicole kidman are so great 4 stars
4/20/03 Dillon Nice guy gets scammed by Russkies. Completely unpleasant. Ben, get new agents!! 1 stars
4/16/03 JL The movie wasn't that great, but Nicole Kidman is the bomb. 3 stars
2/15/03 Mitsaso Great!! 5 stars
4/26/02 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne (Movie lame and unconvincing) Hawaiian-born "Australian" plays Russian who speaks English but pretends she can't. 2 stars
3/20/02 Natalie Stonecipher English/Russian interactions that can make you sorry the cold war is "over". 2 stars
3/14/02 Roy Smith When people do things in movies that they would never do in real life the drama is ruined. 2 stars
3/13/02 Alan Smithee A watchable mess that is helped considerably by Nicole Kidman's sex appeal. 3 stars
2/28/02 Kim Carter Enjoyable movie! 4 stars
2/10/02 Suzz great turns by all the actors; finally a romantic comedy that is entertaining and funny 4 stars
2/07/02 the enemy of the WHORE Nicole Kidman is a WHORE 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  01-Feb-2002 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  08-Aug-2002 (M)




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