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|Index||11 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Raymond (Hugh Laurie) is a bank clerk that dream on Rio de Janeiro and
the samba dancer Orlinda (the beautiful and exotic Vanessa Nunes). He
has a secret class of samba at night, where he teaches the rhythm and
how to dance samba to British persons. One day, he finds that his wife
is cheating him with his boss and he decides to rob the bank and go to
Rio de Janeiro to meet his passion. In the arrival, he meets the cab
driver Paulo (Santiago Segura), an authentic 'malandro carioca' (smart
guy born in Rio) and he crosses the way of the powerful 'bicheiro'
(owner of an illegal and popular Brazilian lottery, called 'jogo de
bicho' translating, would be animal lottery).
This movie is really very funny. I watched it just to see what type of movie could a Spanish-British production offer about Rio de Janeiro, and I was indeed surprised. They use all the stereotypes that you can imagine: the Englishman that robs a bank and goes to Rio de Janeiro, the smart taxi driver, the samba dancer, the 'bicheiro', the slums, the samba school, the corruption. For locals like me, there are many funny non-senses: Raymond arrives from London in our domestic airport (Santos Dumont), instead of our international airport (Tom Jobim). The geography of Rio de Janeiro was completely disregarded: when a character crosses a tunnel, or climbs a slum, in the next scene he will be in a completely different area of Rio de Janeiro. Another funny situation is when the money is flying over the slum: please note in the right side of the TV screen and you will see a man throwing money for the shot. Anyway, this movie is very funny and Hugh Laurie is perfect, with his British behavior and lost as a tourist in Rio. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Garota do Rio" ("Girl of Rio")
It's hard for me not to like a movie that: A) takes place in an exotic
tropical country B) has the protagonist sleeping with his dream girl after
knowing her an hour, and C) has a happy ending. These qualities nearly
compensate for the weaknesses of The Girl From Rio.
The plot of this Hollywood Film Festival winner is pedestrian and slack. You gotta like this Raymond guy, though.
Raymond (Hugh Laurie) is a bank clerk with a thoroughly unlikable boss, a cuckolding wife, and an endearing passion for Salsa dancing. Laurie's is the film's only real nuanced performance. No matter what he's saying or doing, his eyes betray him. His ubiquitous fear that the world is a dangerous and scary place has become his reality. It's clear, however, that beneath his pitifully polite and feckless British demeanor is a simmering frustration. Whatever you do, don't confuse Salsa with Bossa Nova. That makes Raymond really angry.
Raymond quietly endures his mostly comfortable life until, quite suddenly, the machinations of his wife and boss render him alone and disconsolate. A coworker commiserates, `It could be worse,' and Rodney does his best to prove his friend right by filling a duffle bag with all the bank's cash on Christmas Eve and hopping a flight to Rio de Janeiro.
Enter The Girl. `S' words come to mind. Sultry. Sensual. Sizzling. Steamy. Vanessa Nunes's Orlinda is a famous Brazilian Samba dancer whose mere picture fuels Raymond's first-class flight from sanity. Then it's this pesky plot stuff again. Paulo, the taxi driver (Raymond's seedy, hapless Sancho Panza) just happens to know Orlinda. They meet, they dance down a Brazilian calle accompanied by a thousand musicians and acolytes, they go to his room, they make love. As much as I was rooting for old Raymond, I felt vaguely ripped off.
Not nearly as ripped off as Raymond, however.
Everyone in this film has a secret. Raymond. Olinda. (`You're just a thief like me,' she tells him.) His boss. His wife. Paulo. Even the painfully anachronistic villain.
As I mentioned, everything turns out just fine. Even the obscene economic disparity of Rio (better portrayed in 1999's Orfeu) is corrected in authentic Robin Hood fashion.
Did I mention the villain? They made him carry a little dog.
...in a you-always-know-exactly-what's-going-to-happen kind of way.
Girl From Rio is hardly going to have you glued to the screen, or
really make you think in any kind of way, but it makes for a pleasant
couple of hours all the same, spattered through with a few decent
laughs and the delightful Vanessa Nunes (or, to be more exact, Nunes'
Most of the movie's charm is, unsurprisingly, attributable to Laurie's performance; while hardly stretched (Raymond is the sort of character he can probably play in his sleep by now) he nonetheless remains both sympathetic and genuinely likable throughout. So much so, in fact, that you can forgive the quite remarkable implausibility of the whole thing, along with some absolutely horrendous support turns, a lazy script, pedestrian direction and some ridiculous soundtrack choices (such as when Raymond finally gets to dance with Orlinda and the samba beat bizarrely fades into a fromage-encrusted swell of strings). Indeed, that a movie so intrinsically flawed and worthless can be made perfectly enjoyable is a sturdy testament to Laurie's charisma.
Well, that and Nunes' arse...
Being a fan of Hugh Laurie I have spent the last few years trying to
track down this hard to find film on DVD. Eventually found an
Australian copy on ebay ! Look out for it.
After watching the film I was shocked and disappointed at how such a wonderful film could have been so overlooked. This is a film that has a great storyline, excellent cast and locations, great comedy, superb direction and soundtrack....and yet as far as I can tell, was a dismal failure at the box office and is only available on DVD in Norway and Australia - and even there, difficult to find.
If you get the chance to rent or buy this DVD - do so immediately - you will not be disappointed.
Now where can I buy the soundtrack CD ?
Fun romantic comedy with a British/Spanish cast and dealing with a
likable Bank clerk who flees Brazil where finds lots of problems .
Discovering your wife is sleeping with your boss can make a man do
strange things . For a Samba-obsessed London banker (Hugh Laurie) ,
robbing a bank and boarding the first flight to Rio are just the
beginning . He arrives in Rio , there meets a sympathetic taxi man
(Santiago Segura) and ¨La Chica De Rio¨ , the lovely Orlinda (Vanessa
Nunes) . But he finds his robbed loot and the safe is open and all is
gone including his clothes an all , as he is left on the streets of Rio
with nothing . After several complications, he travels back to England
and finds an amazing surprise when he arrives .
A very pleasant romantic comedy plenty of humor , emotion , agreeable scenes and mayhem . An intelligent and engaging script which uses amusing situations to give us a good movie in a high sense and intimate sensitivity and that kept me entertained for the almost one hour and fifty minutes of duration . Rightly enjoyable and fun-filled , milestone comedy which neatly combines humor , mirth , Samba dancing , entertaining situations and amusement . Flawless story with a trio of sensational protagonists , Hugh Laurie as a clerk getting into trouble , Santiago Segura as cab driver Paulo and including an unforgettable Vanessa Nunes who plays a Samba dancer , she parades sexily at her best and more relaxed and enticing than ever . Fun acting by Hugh Laurie as a mild-mannered banker finds himself living out his wildest dreams . The hit of the show is undoubtedly for the fetching Hugh Laurie who gives one of the best screen acting . I liked everyone in the excellent cast, and the male and female actors , especially Vanessa Nunes as exotic samba dancer , were all very attractive . I have seen many, Hollywood-romantic-comedies that couldn't compare with this one, but many give them a higher rating because they are Hollywood-made . The screenplay manages a lot of laughs from the audience and romantic elements that you never loose your attention from the film . This movie is a lot of fun and well worth the time. I enjoyed the film tremendously and I guarantee you that if you rent it, you'll enjoy it and have a few laughs . It was funny , great actors and a super soundtrack full of Samba music and Bossa Nova . Furthermore , a colorful and evocative cinematography by Jose Luis Alcaine who was first cinematographer to use fluorescent tube as "key" lightning and deemed to be one of the best Spanish cameraman . Alcaine frequently works with Pedro Almodóvar , Bigas Luna and Vicente Aranda , as he has photographed ¨The skin I live in¨ , The bad education¨ , ¨Volver¨ , ¨Women in the verge of a nervous breakdown¨, among others .
The motion picture produced by the great producer Andres Vicente Gomez was well directed by Christopher Monger , a little prolific filmmaker who has directed some movies with moderated success such as : ¨Waiting for the light¨ , ¨The Englishman¨ , ¨Just Like a Woman¨and this ¨Girl from Rio¨ , also titled ¨La ragazza di Rio¨ or ¨A Garota do Rio Brazil¨ or ¨La Chica De Rio¨ . Rating : Good and charming picture , worthwhile seeing . The flick will appeal to Hugh Laurie fans .
Literally a rating for a good story and it is true that Hugh Laurie's
Raymond carried the movie. Without his talent and comedic additives
this movie wouldn't have a cat's chance in hell of success.
The ending is brilliant and unpredictable. The English dialog amongst the non-English characters is ridiculous and typically bad. Last and least, I'll be happy never to see Santiago Segura in anything else ever again. He's fat, sloppy, ugly and how he ever landed a roll in any film (other than snuff) is beyond me.
The title makes no sense only because the movie has little to do with the girl... who happens to be from Rio. As my summary suggests something as corny as A British Samba would have actually worked considering what the movie is about.
This was actually a great "bad" movie. Definitely my style.
Although not technically perfect or with the most amazing 3D effects,
actually no effects at all, the film can entangle you in a eerie
feeling. I just finished watching it and I am feeling it. The sense of
unachievable goals, of beautiful girls, excellent beaches and love
through pictures firstly and then at first sight can make you feel
The story is simple and the plot is naive. Nothing of these would have happened in real life. But, because there is always a but, the film has it's own way into making you mix in the plot. Feel a part of it. Who has not felt betrayed, self-pitted, deserted or just confined in his everyday prison of routine? Who wouldn't like to travel to exotic places and meet beautiful girls of his dreams if he had the chance? Who isn't bullied by other people everyday even if those people are your boos, your landlord, your parents, your wife?
The film tries to make a statement. Simple and clear. The statement is based on everyone's life. So don't ask what I have understood because it, possibly, is different from what you have understood. I matched for some things even with Paulo, the taxi-driver, the penny "thief", the man-for-all-businesses. Watch the film carefully and you will observe that you have similarities with every character in this film.
The Girl from Rio is an entertaining diversion. Simple, light hearted and amusing; it is a fun movie with excellent performance from Hugh Laurie who plays his usual bungling but good natured self and Vannesa Nunes is just fantastic.
What an odd film. Very dated feel. Could almost be older than the 70's
- maybe "Ealing" period. It has a naive charm and is mildly amusing in
parts. I think the dated feel is that it was not an English production
and was perhaps never intended for release in the U.K.?
I could see how it would be popular in Brasil itself and was liked there judging from some of the other IMDb reviewers. I only watched it because of my love for all things Brazilian - wife, food, music etc etc and hence the 7 out of 10 as opposed to the 3 I should have given it.
I don't know if I would be able to recommend this to anyone else. Maybe samba-lovers? Hugh Laurie obsessives? 40-something men going through a mid-life crisis???
"Who doesn't like Samba, you'd rather not meet
There's sick in the head,or lame in the feet"
Wrote Dorival Caymmi in 'Samba da Minha Terra'
It seems another punter doesn't know the difference between Salsa and Samba. The difference is the same as between Spanish and Portuguese.
I arrived at this film by accident. I had video taped it and promptly forgot about it. Then I tried to get through City of God and Favela Rising. I know City of God is well thought of but both films I found upsetting. Drugs, kids, killing, guns and gangsters. Enough of that!
As usual I was looking for some spare tape on my badly listed VHS tapes. I fast forwarded a bit, caught the end of another programme I had taped. Then suddenly my favourite Samba beat struck up ! It then alternated with a Northern British brass band. All done in early 1970's bright cartoon style. It was the rhythms that caught my attention. Then came the name of the film ...'The Girl from Rio' I was hooked !
The story of this film has already been recounted by previous posters along with the confusion of Salsa and Samba.
I must make a confession, I have been to Samba classes just like Raymond ran in the film. This may be one of the reasons I liked it, identification. Of course there were faults. How did Orlinda open the safe in Raymond's room, a nice big combination lock thing? Santos Dumont Airport was used, Raymond takes of in a Boeing 737 and lands in a MD-11. It would not be unusual to take off from Santos Dumont, land in Sao Paulo. Then get the flight to London. Yet does that matter, for the artistic continuity of the film the way it was done was good enough. How many people would know anyway ?
I was very envious of Raymond's trip to the Salgueiro Samba School and his girlfriend Orlinda(Vanessa Nunes).
When Orlinda appeared out of the crowd of Samba dancers to dance in front of Raymond, I was captivated.
The film was a fun piece of nonsense that I found very enjoyable. I loved the twist at the end. I loved the twist of Orlinda as she danced the Samba. So infectious, neither Robert or myself could stay still.
Strangely back in 1997 I wrote a story with basic similarities. Check out the link:- 'Sex is Great! If you can get it ?' http://www.geocities.com/cafebrasilia_2000/index5.html
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