Review: Rich In Love is a Clichéd Rom-Com

‘Rich in Love’ starring Danilo Mesquita and Giovanna Lancellotti is a romance film that brings together two individuals from different walks of life. Set mostly in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, the film is a comical take on the ‘rich bad boy falls in love’ archetype.  The film is weaved together with its central characters who switch identities, fall in love, and soar to success in the end. While the film ends on a happy note for its characters, it is unlikely that the audience would feel the same.

Rich In Love Plot

The film starts with Teto, waking up in bed with a woman whose name is forgotten after a night together. He is then met with a life-changing decision his father has made on his birthday- to cut off his funds until he can work a job and prove his merit. Teto’s dad owns ‘Trancoso Tomatoes,’ and having lived a luxurious life of pure bliss, Teto is more bothered about the car he wants than the job his father has already arranged for him in the company. Soon after, at his birthday party that happens amidst the famous Tomato Festival, he meets Paula. Paula is a final year medical student ignoring the passes of a senior doctor to qualify as a resident doctor in a hospital.

The two meet, and Teto is drawn to Paula. He immediately pursues her all the way to Rio. He talks to his father and makes an arrangement to join the trainee program in the family’s company in Rio. However, the twist in the plot begins when he trades his identity with Igor, his friend, to remain anonymous in the company. This has two objectives. Firstly, to pursue Paula as a financially struggling youth who wants to prove himself and secondly, to earn respect for his own work and not for being the owner’s son. He manages to get Paula to fall in love with him but doesn’t manage to bag the junior executive position.

The plot, however, is not this simply straightforward; there are some deliberate complications. Paula ends up falling for Teto, believing he is poor. Igor, who had traded his identity with Teto, ends up in a relationship with Alana, their boss. Monique, whose previous position Teto and Igor were competing for, ends up becoming Teto’s close friend and family in the process. The plot switches back and forth in the complicated web of lies Teto has built till Paula learns the truth and leaves him. In the end, Teto starts his own business with Monique, Alana, and Igor to build a different successful Tomato enterprise in which his father is an investor. Paula gets back to Teto, Igor is married to Alana, and all the characters are happy.

Rich In Love Review

The film relies a lot on the archetype it borrows from. The characteristic rich boy meets an aspiring focused woman who makes him fall in love and have a purpose in life is an age-old story. The film, however, tries to offer its own spin to it by adding humor, twists in the plot, and several other additions to the film.

Teto meets Paula, who fixes his almost broken nose, and after having spent around 15-20 minutes with her, Teto is all ready to move to Rio for her, a changed man with a new vision in life. While love, at first sight, has the potential to move us, the film’s attitude towards it is flat. The audience is simply made to believe through the direction of the plot that Teto is in love. Paula kisses Teto for the first time to get away from the doctor, who is constantly flirting with her. While all of this is fine, the narrative doesn’t build on the romance. Sure, they are taken to each other and tries to spend time together, but none of it comes across as a genuine form of romance, either in acting or through its plot.

The second area the film tries too hard is to be a romantic comedy. While this has worked out really well for many films, it doesn’t work for ‘Rich in Love.’ The film relies on circumstantial humor that turns into slapstick. It assumes that its viewers will be easily moved to laughter if they see Teto go from a professional business meeting with his father, dressed in a suit to Paula’s date in the next ten minutes in shorts and a shirt. Basically, the changing, running around, and covering up for lies comes across as more exhausting than funny. It could be funny if it was sustainably worked on but, in reality, falls short.

There is some attempt from the film’s end to give Teto the benefit of some character development, especially in how he helps Monique’s sick sister and son. However, it is not really built upon. Teto breaks off from his father’s company to build his own reputation and fame. Instead of showing how he did that, the movie opts for a convenient one year later scene where he is already successful. The city of Rio also just happens to have a horse waiting in the streets for Teto to just ride on. The film, in this manner, is entirely unconvincing, starting from its plot loopholes to its acting. Paula, as a character, could have been worked on with much more depth than someone who just goes away and comes back a year later, all okay, without ever having kept in touch with Teto. While the attempt is noble, the film does not do justice to either itself or its audience. ‘Rich in Love,’ thus, fails to move us not only in romance but also in entertaining us through its comedy.

Rating: 1/5

Read More: Where Was Rich in Love Filmed?