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Brazilian chef Isabella Oliveira moves to San Francisco when her husband, frustrated by her motion sickness, cheats on her.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Isabella Oliveira (as Penelope Cruz)
Monica Jones (as Harold Perrineau Jr.)
Alex Reeves (as John De Lancie)
TV Director
Claudia Hunter
Analu De Castro ...
Little Isabella - Age 2
Thais De Sá Curvelo ...
Little Isabella - Age 5
Eliana Guttman ...
Isabella's Mother
Eduardo Mattedi ...
Isabella's Father
Ana Paula Oliveira ...
Marilice Santos ...
Sexy Neighbor
Giba Conceição ...
Troubadour #1
Joaquim Pinto ...
Troubadour #2


Isabella is a great cook, making her husband's restaurant in Bahia, Brazil, a success. To control her motion sickness, she must do the driving and be on top during sex, which drives her macho husband, Toninho, to infidelities. Heart-broken, she leaves for San Francisco, moving in with her childhood friend, Monica, a cross-dresser. To mend her heart, she makes an offering to Yemanja, the goddess of the sea. The goddess responds: Isabella no longer loves and the fish in Bahia no longer bite. Stricken, Toninho heads north to get her back; he finds her hosting a popular TV show, Passion Food, courted by its producer. Can he learn humility? Can she find happiness without him? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's gonna be one hot summer. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

22 September 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Las mujeres arriba  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,008,191 (USA) (22 September 2000)


$5,018,450 (USA) (24 November 2000)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


All interiors for the San Francisco scenes were shot in soundstages in Brazil. See more »


As Isabella is leaving the Fish & Chips, her umbrella blows away to her right, yet the rain is falling straight down. See more »


Toninho: [explaining to his wife why he cheated on her] Isabella! Isabella! I'm a man! I have to be on top SOMETIMES!
See more »


References Mary Tyler Moore (1970) See more »


Eu Sabia
Written by Bill Brendle and Katia Moraes (as Kátia Moraes)
Performed by Katia Moraes (as Kátia Moraes) and Sambaguru
Produced by Bill Brendle
See more »

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User Reviews

Penelope Is Pretty, But Script Is Stupid
18 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This started off very well....really well...and slowly got stupid, very stupid. The film is a fantastic vehicle, however, for Penelope Cruz to show us her beauty. The two men chasing her are all right, neither one particularly annoying.

The annoying part isn't the actors, it's the script. In this story, you can pray - and get a positive response - to the "sea goddess" - while other ridiculous curses and superstitions abound. Also, a lead character in here - portrayed as perfectly normal - is a transvestite. Despite these strange doings, the film has charm and beautiful, bold colors to it. If only the story wasn't so stupid.

23 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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