Nicole Kidman, Ben Chaplin, Mathieu Kassovitz, Vincent Cassel
Widescreen; closed caption; English, French audio tracks; Spanish, English subtitles; behind-the-scenes featurette; music video "Somethin' Stupid" by Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman.
|Nicole Kidman, whose lead roles in "Moulin Rouge" and "The Others" were confirmation of her career's ascending trajectory, continues her run of impressive performances with this off-center mix of comedy, romance and thriller. Although not truly successful, "Birthday Girl" has some things to like: its central mystery (avoid the trailers), and its characters, including an enigmatic Russian mail-order bride (Kidman), shy English nerd/bank clerk John (Ben Chaplin of "The Thin Red Line), who's in search of love, and a dangerous pair of thugs (Mathieu Kassovitz of "Amélie" and Vincent Cassel of "Brotherhood of the Wolf"). Short on social skills, John scours the Internet for a mate. When Nadia arrives and moves into his suburban home, John's initial discomfort begins to disappear at her touch. Then, her cousin Yuri and Yuri's pal Alexei visit unexpectedly. Havoc results. Miscellaneous plot inconsistencies, incredible errors in logic and John's lack of good sense are too much to ignore. You just want to say "Do Svidanya."|