One of the silliest love stories of the '60s...and yet ridiculously enjoyable
Prim young miss from New York arrives in Rio de Janeiro ostensibly escaping her wealthy, overpowering parents, but there's something else going on with her--she's bristles with tension every time a man comes near her. This frigid Gidget meets her match in a brooding American architect-turned-draftsman still grieving the car-related death of his fiancée. Seems he's a somewhat-elective mute hiding from civilization--with his telephone hidden in a desk drawer!--and communicates with the girl using "his eyes and his hands". Despite the boastful credit that the film was produced entirely in Brazil, all we really get of Rio are Viewmaster-like shots of the landmarks, a pretty waterfall and rainbow combination, and some beaches crowded with overly-tanned bodies. Lynda Day, in a strawberry-blonde hairdo and resembling Joey Heatherton, is obviously not a skilled dramatic actress, however she does quite well with some inane dialogue (and a silly, lengthy monologue about why her recently-annulled marriage was never consummated). Christopher George (he a ringer for Paul Burke, and later Day's husband in real-life) has a more intricate problem: he's terribly miscast. Playing a vulnerable, extra-sensitive outcast, George turns silent anguish and conflicted emotions into constipation. He has a playful scene with Day in the bathtub, and a good dramatic moment at a party where he longs to sing with the guests, but he's too granite-solid, too macho for a touchy role like this. The music by Luiz Bonfa and Eumir Deodato is pretty, if repetitive, and the pacing is quick enough. Still, only die-hard romanticists will fall for this sudsy plot--and even they will balk at the ending, which is terribly unfair on the audience. **1/2 from ****
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