Blame It on Rio

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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
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 is 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.


Michael Caine is Matthew, who is married to Valerie Harper as Karen, and has a daughter, Nikki, played by Demi Moore. His marriage is not going well for reasons not explained, certainly not by Karen, who lies in bed sighing in discontent, but passive-aggressively refuses to express what's wrong, except to issue snide answers like "Nothing. That's what's always been going on in our marriage... nothing." She announces, on the moment they are to leave for a trip to Rio, that she is not going to Rio, but going on vacation by herself, to think. Victor (Joseph Bologna), Matthew's boss, is going through a nasty divorce and constantly complaining about how his wife has consigned him to hours of paperwork and is taking half of what he has worked for.

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). The film presents lots of "fabulous vacation"-type footage, and the fathers and daughters settle into a beautiful home. Jennifer and Nikki share a room, and before bed she says to Nikki "Your father is so sweet... I used to have a crush on him."

Throughout the film, we are interrupted every few minutes by interview segments in which Matthew or Jennifer speak directly to the camera. Matthew says that his wife is away thinking and an older friend says "Thinking? That's how I lost my wife!" During a walk on the beach, Victor and Matthew pass numerous women walking around topless. The fathers spot their daughters in the distance, and as they wave to get their attention, the girls turn around to reveal that they too have taken off their bikini tops and are walking about with their breasts exposed. Jennifer and Nikki drag Victor 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 a 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. The ceremony involves the guests stripping mostly naked to wander into the surf with the bride and groom, and Jennifer once again strips down to bikini bottoms and allows Matthew to see her exposed figure. Not surprisingly, 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. Jennifer is coming onto him very aggressively, breathing "make love to me." Then Matthew and Jennifer have sex on the beach, followed by some "comedy" as Matthew is almost caught by a couple of acquaintances and covers his naked body up with sand so they will not realize what he has been doing. Matthew stresses to Jennifer that it can never happen again.

The next day, Jennifer continues to heavily come onto Matthew every time and everywhere, and seemingly cannot comprehend why she should be a little more discreet. Jennifer is making outrageous come-ons to Matthew in all sorts of inappropriate situations. At one point she takes a naked Polaroid of herself and then gives it to Matthew as they are riding in a cable car, where a Japanese tourist notices the photo and tries to take a picture of it. Matthew mentions having held and kissed Jennifer as an infant.

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 has been 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 relationship, but she is determined to never give him up. Jennifer goes to a medicine woman to get a love spell, and is soon screaming "You love me!" to Matthew on a beach not far from her father. She gives him a small wooden idol she received from the medicine women, which has an enormous erection.

Eventually, Matthew discloses to Victor that it was he with whom Jennifer had the affair, but only after Victor causes a couple of brawls targeting innocent men. However, Victor is not as angry as Matthew expects, because it is soon discovered that Victor had also been having an affair – with Matthew's wife Karen.

As the truth comes into light, Jennifer tries to commit suicide with an overdose of birth control pills, but survives. The incident brings everyone 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.



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]