the Long Tail

Adventures in the Low End of the Demand Curve

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Birthday Girl

The fact that this movie reportedly sat on the shelves for two years, and then rushed in and out of theaters in Early 2002 probably didn't inspire a lot of confidence that this was worth watching. However, the concept intrigued me; a lonely bank clerk arranges for a mail-order bride named Nadia from Russia, and things seem to go all right at first. Then hilarity ensues...

The hilarity in this case are Nadia's "relatives" who arrive on the scene to carry out the second half of their plan. The plot turns into an elaborate extortion scheme, and the three of them force the lonely man to rob the bank that he works for. Then, another complication arises, and Nadia is left out of the plan. She reunites with John, and now that both of them are in quite the pickle, they agree to work together to rob the robbers. The plan is successful, but John realizes that he would be a wanted man if he were to return; with nowhere else to go, he agrees to accompany Nadia (who had revealed her real name to be Sophia) back to Russia, with admittedly uncertain prospects.

This movie carries a theme about the lengths that some of us will go to find someone to love. Some people meet and fall for the girl next door; some meet their love in the local supermarket; some have to go to other lengths. I don't believe that one method is inherantly better than any other, but the fact is that the more extreme methods carry that much additional risk, which is another point made here. As the movie ends, John's future with Sophia is uncertain, but we are left hopeful that perhaps Sophia can put her past behind her, as John does seem to genuinely care for her.

This movie was the first to make me appreciate Nicole Kidman. I had seen her in a couple of other movies but she never really stuck in my head. It hasn't exactly made me want to see anything else that she's done, but I now understand what some people see in her.


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