Blame It on Rio

Blame It on Rio is a 1984 American romantic comedy film directed by Stanley Donen and written by Charlie Peters and Larry Gelbart based on the 1977 French film Un moment d'égarement,[3] starring an ensemble cast led by Michael Caine, Joseph Bologna, Michelle Johnson, Valerie Harper, Demi Moore, and José Lewgoy.[4]

Blame It on Rio
Blame It on Rio poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byStanley Donen
Produced by
Written by
  • Charlie Peters
  • Larry Gelbart
Music byKenneth Wannberg
CinematographyReynaldo Villalobos
Edited by
Sherwood Productions
Distributed by20th Century Fox[1]
Release date
  • February 17, 1984 (1984-02-17)
Running time
100 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Box office$18.6 million[1]


Matthew Hollis is married to Karen, and father to teenaged daughter, Nikki. Victor, Matthew's colleague and best friend, who is going through a divorce, is father to 17-year-old Jennifer. Matthew's marriage is not going well for reasons not explained. Just before they are to embark for a trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 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 Nikki share a room, where she says to Nikki, "Your father is so sweet... I used to have a crush on him", to which Nikki replies, "Me, too". At 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.

After dropping the girls off at a wedding, the men visit a 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, which Nikki witnesses. Matthew and Jennifer have sex on the beach. Matthew stresses it can never happen again. Jennifer begins coming onto Matthew in various, inappropriate situations. At one point, she takes a naked Polaroid of herself and gives it to Matthew in public.

Jennifer tearfully tells her father 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 tries to talk Jennifer into ending their relationship, but she is determined to never give him up. Matthew ultimately discloses to his friend that Jennifer had the affair with him. Victor is not as irritated as Matthew expects, because Victor is revealed to have been having an affair with Karen.

Jennifer tries to commit suicide with an overdose of birth control pills, but survives and the incident brings all of the friends closer together, although the men constantly object about 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 Matthew thanks daughter Nikki for being the only one who has not misbehaved. 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 appear topless in some scenes of the film.


Vincent Canby, reviewing Blame It on Rio, stated "...there's not a single funny or surprising moment in the movie. However, Blame It on Rio is not simply humorless. It also spreads gloom. It's one of those unfortunate projects that somehow suggests that everyone connected with the movie hated it and all of the other people involved."[5] The Australian newspaper The Canberra Times described Blame It on Rio as "one of the worst movies ever made and definitely the most banal piece of rubbish to have Michael Caine's name on the credits—and he has quite a few bombs to his credit."[7] Roger Ebert gave the film 1 star out of a possible 4, writing: "It's really unsettling to see how casually this movie takes a serious situation. A disturbed girl is using sex to play mind games with a middle-aged man, and the movie get its yuks with slapstick scenes [...] What's shocking is how many first-rate talents are associated with this sleaze."[8]

Rotten Tomatoes gave Blame It on Rio a rating of 8% based on reviews from 24 critics.[9]


  1. ^ a b Blame It on Rio at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ "Blame It on Rio (15)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved November 27, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "US Remakes of Foreign Films". Retrieved April 10, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Blame it on Rio at AllMovie
  5. ^ a b Canby, Vincent (February 17, 1984). "Movie Review: Blame It on Rio (1984)". The New York Times. Retrieved June 2, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Closing credits of Blame It on Rio (1984) (DVD)
  7. ^ Hugh Lamberton, "TV Movies" The Canberra Times, May 6th, 1991. (p. 36)
  8. ^ Ebert, Roger. Blame it On Rio movie review 1 January 1984. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  9. ^ "Blame It on Rio". December 25, 2015.

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