Birthday Girl
R
Entertainment: +1
Acceptability: -3

John Buckingham (Ben Chaplain) leads a rather dull life after ten years as a bank clerk in a London suburb. Not having much luck meeting girls on his own, John turns to the Internet and shops the new millennium version of the mail order bride from the From Russia With Love website. But what you order isnt always what your get. Despite the advertisement, Nadia (Nicole Kidman) arrives from Moscow unable to speak English, which sends John seeking a refund. But when she finds Johns stack of pornography and communicates her desire to please well enough, he changes his mind about a refund. However, on her birthday, Nadias cousins arrive and turn Johns well-ordered life upside down and onto a path of crime. And theres more to Nadia than meets the eye. This mix of romantic comedy and crime thriller shifts gears rather abruptly and never quite gets up to speed, but Kidman and Chaplain avoid complete audience disappointment.

Without much lead up, the story jumps into Nadias arrival and into setting up house with John. Although she comes with a wedding band for John, no ceremony, civil or religious occurs. Prior to finding Johns pornography collection, Nadia enters his bedroom in a nightgown and, after putting his hand on her breast, begins to stimulate him with hers. The pornography find leads to scenes implying sexual bondage and include female nudity. Violence is largely limited to slaps and shoving, although a couple of knife threats occur and John knocks a man out with a guitar to the head. Nadia chain smokes and her cousins swill vodka from the bottle. Their English includes strong obscenities and John airs several profanities. Although Johns bank gives its employees trust exercises, strong sexual content and foul language give BIRTHDAY GIRL little to celebrate.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Distributor: Miramax Films (Disney), 375 Greenwich St., New York, NY 10013

Summary
Crude Language: Few (3) times All moderate
Obscene Language: Several (8) times F-word 5, s-word 2, other 1
Profanity: Several (7) times All regular (J 5, JC, thank C)
Violence: Several times Mild and moderate (Woman pushed under water, knife threat, pushing, shoving, slaps, knee to crotch, woman has bloody lip, punch, head hit w/guitar)
Sexual Intercourse: Few times Implied and graphic (implied woman manually services man, couple in bed w/ motion twice, nude woman tied to bed)
Nudity: Few times (female rear); Near nudity Several times (woman in underwear back to camera, man in underwear, woman swims in underwear)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Many times (woman puts mans hand on breast, woman finds/ looks thru porno magazines, porno magazines set beside dictionary gift, woman plays with mans tie around wrists, couple kisses on bed in dark, man asks woman about sex, reference to prostitution/ bondage)
Drug Abuse: Frequent cigarette smoking, vodka drinking
Other: Man gets mail order bride through internet - but no legal or church ceremony, vomiting, scenes show business giving trust exercises for employees, man at urinal, man steals hotel towels/ shampoos, man 'gets away' with crime )
Running Time: 94 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)