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birthday_girl1This is a strange one. Ben Chaplin (no relation to the legendary comedian) is a shy Englishman who hooks up with a Russian mail order bride (Nicole Kidman). The movie seems to be a quirky romantic comedy until it suddenly morphs into a crime drama, a chase movie and extremely dark farce. It’s a bit of a mess, but is saved by Chaplin’s sad sack portrayal of the love sick John, and French actors Vincent Cassel and Mathieu Kassovitz as the Russian bad guys. Nicole Kidman continues to impress, and even though she doesn’t speak a word of English for the first hour of Birthday Girl her expressive face says it all.

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