A Movie A Day #299: Blame It On Rio (1984, directed by Stanley Donen)


When I was growing up in Baltimore, I used to go down to this independent video story every weekend and check out movies.  Every time that I stepped into the store, the first thing I saw was the poster for Blame It On Rio hanging over the front register.  The store did not actually have any copies of Blame It On Rio in stock and I don’t think anyone working there had ever seen it but it only takes one look at the poster to guess what they were thinking when they hung it at the front of the store.

Blame It On Rio is one of the films that Michael Caine made during that period when he was willing to accept any paycheck.  (The Jaws 4 years.)  Caine plays Matthew, who goes on a vacation to Rio with his 17 year-old daughter, Nikki (Demi Moore), his best friend Victor (Joseph Bologna), and Victor’s daughter, Jennifer (Michelle Johnson).  Both Matthew and Victor’s marriages are falling apart and Victor encourages Matthew to hit on every topless woman they see.  Instead, Matthew ends up fooling around with Jennifer.  When Victor discovers that his daughter to having an affair with an older, married man, he recruits Matthew to help him discover the man’s identity.  In between the scenes of all the action in Brazil, Matthew and Jennifer appear in interview segments that do no add up to much.

It may be hard to believe but this forgettable movie was co-written by Larry Gelbart and directed by the same director responsible for Singin’ In The Rain, Charade, and Two For The Road, Stanley Donen.  For a film about a 43 year-old man having a sexual relationship with a 17 year-old, Blame It On Rio is a hopelessly square movie.  Caine and Bologna walking along a topless beach and accidentally leering at their own daughters is about as funny as things get.  Michael Caine’s a trooper and does the best that he can but Michelle Johnson is bland as Jennifer.  She and Demi Moore should have switched roles.

 

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