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
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 Wilson, married to Karen (Valerie Harper), and father to teenage daughter, Nicky (Demi Moore). Victor (Joseph Bologna), Matthew's boss, is going through a divorce, and is father to 15-year-old Jennifer (Michelle Johnson).

The Wilson marriage is not going well for reasons not explained. Just before they are to leave for a trip to Rio, Karen says she is going on vacation by herself to "think about everything." Matthew and Victor decide to go to Rio with their daughters.

Jennifer and and Nicky share a room, and before bed she says to Nicky, "Your father is so sweet... I used to have a crush on him," to which Nicky replies, "Me, too." During a walk on the beach, Victor and Matthew pass numerous women walking around topless. The fathers spot their daughters in the distance, and the girls turn around to reveal that they are topless, also. Victor tells Jennifer to cover up, but she refuses and drags her father into the water to play. Matthew does not join them, feeling uncomfortable.

After dropping the girls off at a wedding, the men visit a local pub. After Victor pairs off with a local divorcée, Matthew winds up at the wedding, where he runs into Jennifer. They eventually share a passionate kiss – much to the chagrin of Nikki. Matthew and Jennifer have sex on the beach. Matthew stresses to her that it can never happen again. However, Jennifer begins coming onto Matthew in various, inappropriate situations. At one point she takes a naked Polaroid of herself and gives it to Matthew as they are riding in a cable car. 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." Victor becomes furious and sets out to hunt down the mystery man, expecting Matthew to help. Matthew is reluctant but goes through with it 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. However, Victor is not as angry as Matthew expects, because it is discovered that Victor had been having an affair with Karen.

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 she met while recuperating in the hospital, and Victor remarries his estranged wife.

As closing credits roll, Matthew, in voice-over narration, says, "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]