Love sick and forlorn young bachelor banker John Buckingham (Ben Chaplin) resorts to mail ordering a bride via the internet on the From Russia With Love website, and when Nadia (Nicole Kidman) arrives, he’s shocked to learn she doesn’t speak a word of English. But that’s the least of the surprises in store for John, as his would-be bride tries every trick to be kept in his life – including sex games she thinks he likes. And then another big surprise: her 'cousins’ (Vincent Cassel, Mathieu Kassovitz) from Russia turn up, and force him to rob the bank to save Nadia’s life.
 

3.5
A well written script and a terrific performance from Nicole.

John Buckingham, Ben Chaplin, is one of those meek suburban types who works in a bank in St Albans. He would be into sex if he could be but there\'s no-one around, so he contacts an internet agency called From Russia With Love and orders an English-speaking, non-smoking bride. When Nadia, Nicole Kidman, arrives she\'s neither. John in a meek polite way tries to cope with the situation but decides that maybe Nadia\'s too much for him, but when Nadia discovers his porn collection and sets about fulfilling his fantasies things change. Then, on her birthday, her cousin Yuri, Mathieu Kassovitz, and his friend Alexei, Vincent Cassel, arrive and things begin to get very complicated.

It\'s an unsettling film in some ways, it\'s part romantic comedy, part thriller, part crime caper. It\'s been nicely written by Butterworth working on the screenplay with his brother Tom, another brother Steve was co- producer. I think it\'s Nicole\'s best performance since To Die For, she\'s terrific as the manipulative Nadia and she\'s nicely balanced by Chaplin.

Kassovitz and Cassel are great mates and they work really well together on screen. Overall Birthday Girl is very easy to enjoy, but you may come away feeling that perhaps the whole doesn\'t work as well as some of the parts.