Desperate bank clerk John decides to mail-order a bride from Russia, but when Nadia arrives he is unimpressed. She wins him round with some kinky sex, but then her two sinister 'cousins' turn up.
Delayed for two years awaiting Kidman's availability to do re-shoots, this low-key romantic comedy is now in the unfortunate position of coming out immediately after some of her best work. After Moulin Rouge and The Others, this quirky little film just doesn't live up to expectations.
Kidman's undoubtedly sexy as the mysterious Nadia and sparks nicely off Chaplin, who gives his drippy bank clerk just enough backbone to make him worth caring about. Their on-screen sparring is the film's highlight, but things go seriously off the rails when Cassel and Kassovitz enter the scene, sporting dubious Russian accents and trying to inject a thriller element into proceedings.
Brits will also be thrown to see Australia doubling as an extremely sunny Hertfordshire and, as the film mutates again into a road movie, only the chemistry of the stars holds the concept together.
Birthday Girl benefits from a cast that punches above the script's weight, dressing up essentially standard material. Fun, but less than Kidman and Chaplin deserve.