Girl from Rio

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Not to be confused with The Girl from Rio.
Chica de Río
English-language poster of Chica de Río
Directed by Christopher Monger
Produced by Muir Sutherland
Andrés Vicente Gómez
Written by Christopher Monger
Julian Ibañez
Francisco Lara
Starring Hugh Laurie
Vanessa Nunes
Santiago Segura
Patrick Barlow
Cinematography José Luis Alcaine
Edited by Nicholas Wentworth
Distributed by United Kingdom:
Redbus Film Distribution
Release dates
  • 11 April 2003 (2003-04-11) (UK)
  • 13 July 2001 (2001-07-13) (Spain)
Running time
102 min.
Country Brazil
United Kingdom
Language English

Girl from Rio (Spanish:Chica de Río) is a 2001 film, written and directed by Christopher Monger, starring Hugh Laurie, Vanessa Nunes, Santiago Segura, Lia Williams, and Patrick Barlow.


Raymond Woods (Hugh Laurie), a junior manager in a bank in the City is becoming increasingly bored of his life as it takes a downhill tumble. First he finds out that he has missed the promotion opportunity at work by his bad tempered and disapproving boss, Strothers (Patrick Barlow), and then he catches his wife (Lia Williams) a couple of days before Christmas having an affair with Strothers. In an increasingly bad mood, Raymond attends his last day at work before Christmas and offers to lock up the bank after the Christmas party. Struck by rashness and his desire to live out his fantasy and dance the Samba with a famous Samba dancer, Raymond grabs several bin bags full of cash and departs for the airport. Realising that he has left his passport at home, he directs the taxi home, collecting his passport and roughly counts his money and placing them in a more suitable bag. Departing for the airport, he pays for a first class ticket to Rio de Janeiro expecting to have a great Christmas to forget his troubles back at home.

Touching down in Rio, he calls a cab to take him to a nice hotel. The cab driver, Paulo (Santiago Segura), takes him to a fairly run down hotel. Raymond insists he needs a much nicer hotel with a beach, while Paulo insists Raymond would not be able to afford such a hotel, but suddenly changes heart once Raymond shows him a large wad of cash. Paulo immediately befriends Raymond, with is eyes greedily on his cash as he owes the biggest Mafia leader in Rio money and insists that he is prepared to take Raymond wherever he needs to go and whatever he needs done can be done. Therefore, Paulo takes Raymond to the nicest hotel in Rio. Raymond trips up in a commotion at the door of the hotel, dropping his bag and spreading his cash all over the floor. Once he hastily shuffles it all away, the hotel clerks immediately show him to the Presidential suite of the hotel and welcomes him to the hotel. After a day of shopping, and generous spending Raymond reveals to Paulo he had originally come to Rio to look for the famous Samba dancer Orlinda (Vanessa Nunes). Paulo then calls during the middle of the night to tell Raymond he has found Orlinda. After dropping Raymond off at the Samba club, where Orlinda is performing a Samba dance, Paulo sneaks back to the hotel to steal Raymond's money from the safe, before being caught by a guard and thrown out of the hotel. Meanwhile, Raymond confesses to Orlinda he has been mesmerised by her dancing and has learnt all of her moves from her videos. They dance together, before the show ends and Paulo insists on driving them back to the hotel. Paulo secretly tells Orlinda about the safe, who suddenly doubles her interest in Raymond and follows him back to the hotel. Raymond shows her the suite he stays in and they talk about Samba, before they have a passionate night. Raymond then wakes up the next morning in a good mood and orders breakfast for two. He then notices the safe wide open and completely cleared of all of its contents. Raymond escapes the hotel before they can reprimand him about the bill. He escapes with Paulo to try and find Orlinda, believing she has been kidnapped along with all the money. Realising it is Christmas Eve, Paulo realises Orlinda would be at midnight mass and takes Raymond there. Raymond meets up with Orlinda who confesses to stealing his money, but telling him she doesn't have it. it appears she too owes money to the Mafia leader, Bichero (Nelson Xavier), as well. Upon leaving mass, Raymond sees Bichero handing out cash from a bag that looks familiar. Raymond rushes after the car to try to get his money back, before realising what he's doing and then tries to run away, but to no avail. Bichero brings him to his hideout where he interrogates Raymond before finally giving the command for one of his henchmen to execute Raymond. While Raymond struggles, he lets slip he counts money for a job. Bichero then orders for Raymond to be locked in the safe and to count the masses of money locked in it.

On Christmas Day, Orlinda visits Raymond to give him a Christmas present. Raymond is still angry at the fact that she has ended him up in this situation. She tells him that she wished the money was only a small portion of what he owned and it wouldn't matter that she took it, and tells Raymond he's a "common crook". Leaving the safe after being ordered out, she tells Raymond not to give up hope. Raymond collects large portion of the money and claims its his. Orlinda then meets up with Paulo who takes his taxi and ties a rope to pull away at the bars of Raymond's prison. After dragging away the bars, Raymond manages to escape with several bags of money. Bichero realises he's escaped and sets a henchman on him. Once reaching the bottom of the air vent, the henchman grabs Raymond causing him to knock the controls for a fan, switching it on so that all the money in the safe is spread over the city. The henchman releases Raymond so he can pursue some of the money. The rest of the city also goes after the money flying everywhere, leaving Bichero with nothing.

Raymond then decides he should return the money to the bank, as he still has enough time to get back to England and return the money to the vaults without anybody noticing it had gone. He quickly buys a ticket back to London and hires a taxi driver to rush him back to the bank. However when he arrives, the police are all over the building. About to rush in and explain to the police inspector, he discovers that over the Christmas period, somebody had tunnelled into the vault and swiped the remainder of the money. Confused and relieved Raymond leaves the bank and intends to return to Rio. Catching a taxi, where a couple leave, he recognises them as his wife and Strothers who have evidently just returned from their holiday in Tenerife. He tells his wife he'll leave her the address of where he's living in Rio to send the divorce papers, resigns from his job and goes back to Rio. We next see him living with Orlinda and Paulo some years later with two babies and Bichero as his servant.


  • The soundtrack is Silencio, by Adriana Maciel
  • The end credits is a song called Libera Geral by Terra Samba

External links[edit]