My Review – “Birthday Girl” Movie

In 2001, Jez Butterworth has directed and written a movie called “Birthday Girl“. It is about an English man (John Buckingham who is played by actor Ben Chaplin) who goes on an international dating website and pursues true love with a Russian mail order bride (Nadia aka Sophia whose portrayer is famous actress Nicole Kidman). Jez has done the production of the movie in both United States and United Kingdom. His reason is filming and distributing the video clips between Miramax Films (located in United States) and FilmFour (located in United Kingdom). In addition, he has wanted to make his own version of the 1963 classic “From Russia with Love” (which is the same title of the website that John has visited and found Nadia/Sophia).

If you (American or Westernized man) wish to know how I feel about “Birthday Girl” movie, please read my likes and dislikes below:


  • Nadia/Sophia
    • She is a tall and skinny woman from Russia.
      • She is mysterious but seductive.
      • Initially, she has claimed that she cannot speak English.
        • However, she later confesses to John about her real language (English) and name (Sophia).
      • Despite of her criminal past, she is candidly a caring person who wants to get away from the 2 lowlife men who causes nonstop trouble in her life.
    • I am happy that Nicole Kidman has played this character.
      • She fits the role very well.
      • Even though she is both Australian and American, she can pass for a Russian lady in my opinion.
        • She indeed has the appearance and attitude that match with those of Nadia/Sophia.
  • John
    • He is an average and curious man from England.
      • He is introverted and lonely.
      • He has been bored with his life and job.
        • But, once he has met and connected with Nadia/Sophia, he realizes that his life and character would never be the same.
          • He learns that she is a fraud and gold digger.
          • He is forced to steal money from the bank he has been working for nearly 10 years.
          • He therefore becomes a fugitive and recluse to his coworkers, neighbors, and other locals where he has lived.
      • Thanks to her, he becomes more confident and adventurous.
        • Despite that he has lost his job, home, relationships with others, and everything else, he has gained a new and long-lasting connection with her.
    • I have considered him nerdy in the beginning of the movie.
      • But, I later see how much he has changed emotionally or mentally.
        • He stops looking at porn magazines and videos.
        • He becomes serious about her regarding monogamy.
        • Whether he is imitating James Bond or not, he defends and rescues her from her corrupt boyfriend (who has gotten her pregnant) and other partner in crime.
        • He finally goes to Russia and starts a new life with her.
  • their undeniable bond
    • His suspicion of her, her conspiracy to rob or force him to steal money, and their meaningless sexual relations have failed to break them apart.
      • The main reason is that they have faced negative experiences from her partners in crime.
        • The 2 Russian thugs have:
          • unexpectedly come and stayed in his house
          • separately held John and Nadia/Sophia captive
          • caused them to become fugitives
          • threatened their lives
    • I like that her pregnancy brings her and John closer to each other too.
      • Even though the biological father of her unborn baby is her corrupt boyfriend, John may be willing to be there and support the baby with her.
      • If they have moved to her country (Russia), they can start a new life plus family together.

3 Dislikes

  • her arrival to England
    • She can legally enter his nation and avoid marrying him.
      • But, she cannot do the same in United States though.
        • They both have to apply and wait for the approval of their K1 fiance(e) visa process.
    • I think that this part of the movie gives viewers the wrong impression about foreign ladies.
      • In order to confirm their sincerity, loyalty, and love for their potential American/Western husbands, foreign women can do any of these options:
        • Take and collect many photos of them together.
        • Write letters or blog posts for others.
        • Collect and share things that represent their cultures, backgrounds, personalities, etc.
  • promotion of mail order bride industry
    • Nadia/Sophia has shown these signs that verify her as a mail order bride:
      • meeting John for the first time in England
      • not planning to marry him
      • living with him for free
      • depending on him financially, etc.
      • seducing him after overhearing his complaint(s) about her with the online dating business and learning his secret porn addiction
    • In my opinion, many people who have watched this movie might perceive Russian females and their Eastern European counterparts as mail order brides overall.
      • Because of the rise of ignorance or lies concerning foreign women, international dating, and other relevant topics, this truthful blog exists.
        • You would learn more than enough information here so that you can be inspired to follow your heart abroad and find your future wife or girlfriend.
  • her 2 partners in crime
    • Again, one of them is her boyfriend and the father of her unborn child.
    • At first, the crooked men look normal and harmless.
      • You may see them as possible friends of yours just like John has.
    • Nevertheless, they show their true colors after tying John to a chair and imprisoning him in his home.
      • They show him images of their previous male victims that they as well as Nadia/Sophia have targeted for stealing.
      • The result is that John knows that he is not their only object.
    • I am glad that she has later come against the greedy lowlifes and that John has put them in their place.
      • Without the thieves, the relationship between her and John would probably die.


The movie is almost 20 years old. I find that fact hard to believe. But, I am not surprised that I have to pay in order to view it on YouTube.

Its price is valuable because of the astonishing performance that Nicole Kidman has done.

She has played the character (Nadia/Sophia) tremendously.

She does remind me of a Russian lady with exotic looks, much allure, and fearlessness.

Despite that this movie does not represent international dating, international marriage, or foreign women well, I still recommend it to you and other male readers anyway.

It is fun to watch.

It is sexy thanks to the talented superstar (Nicole) of its main character (Nadia/Sophia).

I would like to see it again in the future.

Hopefully, you rent it online (as I have) or buy the DVD.

If you do so especially on your birthday, you may be surprised and urged to find the woman of your dreams abroad.

2 different covers of the same movie – Amnesty Film Fest

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