Blame It on Rio

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Blame it on Rio
Blame It on Rio poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Stanley Donen
Produced by Stanley Donen
Larry Gelbart
Robert E. Relyea
Written by Charlie Peters
Larry Gelbart
Starring Michael Caine
Joseph Bologna
Michelle Johnson
Demi Moore
Valerie Harper
Music by Kenneth Wannberg
Cinematography Reynaldo Villalobos
Edited by George Hively
Richard Marden
Sherwood Productions
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • February 17, 1984 (1984-02-17)
Running time 100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $18,561,998 (USA)

Blame it on Rio is a 1984 romantic comedy film, written by Charlie Peters and Larry Gelbart and directed by Stanley Donen. The script is based on the 1977 French film, Un moment d'égarement.[1] The original music score was composed by Oscar Castro-Neves. Cast members included Michael Caine, Joseph Bologna, Michelle Johnson, Demi Moore, José Lewgoy and Valerie Harper.[2][3] The film was nominated for a Razzie Awards including Worst New Star for Johnson.[4]

This was the last theatrically released film directed by Donen, whose previous work included such notable pictures as Singin' in the Rain, On the Town, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Charade.


Long-time best friends Victor and Matthew (Joseph Bologna and Michael Caine, respectively) are co-workers employed by a major corporation in São Paulo, Brazil. Both are having problems in their marriages: Victor's wife wants to divorce him, while Matthew has no idea what is wrong and is baffled and irritated by the decision of his wife Karen (Valerie Harper) to take her vacation separately from her husband and daughter.

The men decide to vacation in Rio de Janeiro, with their teenage daughters in tow – Matthew's daughter Nikki (Demi Moore) and Victor's daughter Jennifer (Michelle Johnson). They rent a beautiful vacation home with a somewhat taciturn and disapproving housekeeper.

During a walk on the beach, Victor and Matthew spot their daughters – topless. Jennifer is told by her father to cover her bare breasts but she refuses, dragging her father with Nikki's help into the water to play. Matthew does not join them, feeling uncomfortable with the partial nudity displayed by Jennifer, Nikki, and the other women on the beach.

After dropping the girls off at a Brazilian wedding, the men visit a local pub in search of dates. After Victor pairs off with a local cigar-smoking divorcée, Matthew winds up at the Brazilian wedding, where he runs into the amorous Jennifer. While watching the festivities together, Matthew and Jennifer start to feel some chemistry develop between them, and they eventually share a passionate kiss – much to the chagrin of Nikki, who inadvertently sees what's going on between her father and her best friend. Matthew and Jennifer then make love at a secluded spot on the beach, which begins a secret sexual relationship between them.

Jennifer later tearfully confesses to Victor that she had an affair with an "older man", but does not reveal who he is. Naturally, Victor becomes furious and sets out to hunt down the mystery man, expecting Matthew to help – unaware, of course, that Matthew was the culprit the whole time. Matthew is reluctant to help Victor in his quest but goes through with it anyway, for the benefit of their friendship.

In the meantime, Matthew tries to talk Jennifer into ending their fantasy relationship, but she is determined to never give him up. Eventually, Matthew discloses to his friend that it was he with whom Jennifer had the affair, but only after Victor caused a couple of brawls targeting innocent men. However, Victor is not as angry as Matthew expects, because it is soon discovered that Victor had been having an affair--with Matthew's wife Karen.

As the truth comes more into light, Jennifer tries to commit suicide with an overdose of birth control pills, but survives. The incident brings all closer together, although the men constantly bicker with each other over each other's sexual misconduct. Karen and Matthew decide to work on their marital problems, Jennifer begins dating a young male nurse whom she met while recuperating in the hospital, and Victor remarries his estranged wife.

As the closing credits begin to roll, Matthew, in voice-over narration, states in the final line of summation, "You only live once, but it does help if you get to be young twice."



The film was shot on location in Rio de Janeiro.[5][6] Johnson, who was 17 at the time of filming, received permission from a judge to film her nude scenes.


  1. ^ "US Remakes of Foreign Films". Retrieved 10 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Blame it on Rio at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ Blame it on Rio at AllMovie
  4. ^ Wilson, John (2005). The Official Razzie Movie Guide: Enjoying the Best of Hollywood's Worst. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 0-446-69334-0. 
  5. ^ Canby, Vincent (February 17, 1984). "Movie Review: Blame It on Rio (1984)". New York Times. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  6. ^ Closing credits of Blame It on Rio (1984) (DVD)

External links[edit]