Monday, July 11, 2016

Gold Medal Comedy?: Blame it on Rio (1984)

Even though the City hasn't been ready for the Summer Olympics, I sure have!  Today's Film is Blame it on Rio, a 1984 Comedy about the titular City.  You know a Film is a Classic when it becomes a catchphrase on Sealab 2021.  The Film tells the tale of two middle-aged men who go on vacation to escape their problems.  Naturally, this leads to *new* problems!  On the negative side, this pretty much only shows you Rio as a Tourist Destination.  On the plus side, they resist the urge to show Carnivale.  Seriously, how many Films set in Rio *don't* feature the City's most famous event?  Here's all the boring IMDB stuff now.  The Director is notable for making a number of famous Films that include Singin' in the Rain, The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees.  He also Directed Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, the Film that teaches us that kidnapping and raping women is okay if you later marry!  It is also worth noting that Demi Moore plays Michael Caine's teenage Daughter, despite him actually being 29 years older than her!  The breakout Star is the technically-underage (at time of Filming) Michelle Johnson, who I've already seen in both Waxwork and Beaks: The Movie.  Co-Star Joseph Bologna was on Superman: The Animated Series playing a Cop, a far stretch from being an amorous guy here.  Lastly, here's the odd note: this is an uncredited Remake of the French Film In a Wild Moment, which was made as One Wild Moment last year with Vincent Cassel.  Confusing!  Is this one still a Classic or just plain silly?  To find out, read on...
For some reason, Caine and his Daughter sometimes play the role of a 'Greek Chorus' here.  There's no Framing Device for this at all, so...alright.

He speaks of the whole thing in past tense, although he doesn't feel like just telling us the ending.
Caine and his wife are in a rough stretch, so they plan on going to Rio (since they work in Brasil anyways).  What could go wrong?
Well, she decides NOT to go with him, his friend and their respective daughters (Johnson and Moore)!  This isn't awkward at all.
They go to Rio and hit the #1 spot on the Film Set in Rio checklist...
The culture shock hits pretty fast as the adult pair meet up with their kids on the Beach and they are topless.  Interesting how shy Demi Moore appears here, given her later work.

Fun Fact: this isn't a Beach in Rio, since they don't allow you to be topless.
On the 2nd night of the trip, Caine and his friend's daughter (Johnson) hook up.  Ruh roh!
This leads to antics- lots of them.  This Film sure is wacky.  Wacky!
The bulk of the Film is Caine trying to break things off with the girl, her seducing him and him trying to keep it all a secret.  In other words, wacky.
After 80+ minutes of this, it all wraps up neatly when the wife arrives, reveals that she was having an affair with the friend and they go off to Club Med.

That sure was...convenient.  The End.
Wacky, mostly-harmless fun.  Aside from the fact that their frequently-topless Lead wasn't actually 18 when the Film was shot (oops!), it is still pretty free from controversy.  The whole thing is just a big, busy farce.  For how much we think of Michael Caine as a serious, Oscar-winning Actor, he did appear in a bunch of Film like this, The Hand and Jaws: The Revenge.  It is less of a stretch for Co-Star Joseph Bologna, who also appeared in The Lady in Red in 1984.  Is the Film funny?  Sometimes.  Caine and company play it all pretty broad, so your mileage may vary.  Is it entertaining?  For the most part, yes.  Caine, Bologna and Johnson do a good job in their parts, while the Supporting Players are good too.  This definitely feels like a French farce.  That does raise the question- why not credit the French Film?  It feels like an odd omission to me.  All in all, Blame it on Rio is a solid Comedy that will be great or too silly depending on your taste.  I can never be too mad at it though...
Next up, a TV Film that helps close the Chapter on a TV Show.  How is this even more obscure than the Show then?  Stay tuned...

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