Rich in Love: Is the Netflix Movie Inspired by a True Story?

‘Rich in Love’ is a romantic comedy that combines the different worlds of its central characters, Teto (Danilo Mesquita) and Paula (Giovanna Lancellotti). The narrative brings together its central characters and others who wouldn’t have met otherwise.  As the film unveils itself, the plot is intense, with Teto telling Paula that he is poor while, in reality, he is the son of a wealthy businessman. More so, a playboy till his eyes fall on Paula. The characters evolve, and the film focuses on positive transformations.

Rich in Love: A Fictional Romance with Real-World Echoes

No, ‘Rich in Love’ is not based on a true story. It is a Brazilian romantic drama with roots in comedy. The film is about the accidental meeting of two people from different social and economic backgrounds who fall in love. Though based on fiction, some of its themes extend to reality.

The film focuses on the social differences of its characters, and a careful look at it will reveal the reality it reflects even though the prime focus is elsewhere. For instance, though Teto is rich, he has to act like he is struggling financially in front of Paula. Teto, who has never known poverty, is forced to stay in a dingy, unpainted room in the hotel he was staying at to spend time with Paula. Though we may laugh at the irony of him sleeping there and the shabby room’s owner sleeping in Teto’s luxury suite, we are forced to confront the fact that it is his daily reality. 

Though Paula doesn’t mind the room, Teto certainly does, but the only reason he can’t say anything is because he is lying. Teto’s best friend, Igor, is the son of the house helper who takes care of Teto like her own son. Though he lives with his mother in the mansion, Igor is used to working hard based on the callousness of his hands, as observed by Alana. Though these are very minor facts aimed at comical relief, any film that draws the rich-poor binary will knowingly or unknowingly bring into focus the differences in their lives.


In the film, Teto sets out to seek the help of Monique. Teto, due to the privilege of his birth, has never been in a crowded residential area that sometimes looks shady. As a result, he initially believes he is lost while trying to find Monique’s house. He then learns the truth of where Monique lives, which also reveals her economic status in the community. Living in a ‘favela,’ she is broke, having lost her job. Her sister is constantly sick, going into seizures. Monique is, then, responsible not only for her ill sister but also for her sister’s son. Teto, thus, gets his first glimpse of life in a favela.

In Brazil, a favela is a middle to low-income housing area wherein inhabitants do not adhere to strict housing guidelines. Favelas are also reputed for the kind of illegal trade and activities that occur within them, bordering many times on violence. Though this dark side is not shown in the film, one can guess the kind of life one may lead here. In one instance in the film, the cab driver refuses to go further into the favela because it is not safe. Though the film leaves it at that, it’s still food for thought. In this sense, the film illuminates such social issues in its background. 

Read More: Where is Rich in Live Filmed?