Bossa Nova (2000)

‘Bossa Nova’ (2000) dances into your heart

Are you 40 to 50-something and need a romantic comedy for a date night? Bossa Nova is your ticket, with a touch of soccer and a still-sexy Amy Irving.

Irving’s character is a widow teaching English and trying to avoid life. One student tries to seduce her by making her a blouse. Another student is a top Brazilian player who is being bought by ManU; he asks to be trained to trash talk his future opponents. Her students and their extracurricular relationships all intertwine at the airport.

There is no soccer in the movie, but the trash talk scenes and the portrayal of the player and his contract negotiations are very comical. In interviews, Bruno Barreto warns he has idealized Rio as it was back in the 1960s, that it no longer exists in the violent Rio of 2000. The movie is also about the music, similar to that of Tom Jobim (Girl from Ipanema).

Bruno Barreto and Amy Irving

Irving married into the First Family of Brazilian film which, along with Director and then-husband Bruno Barreto, produced Bossa Nova to showcase both her and the beautiful side of Rio.

Amy became fluent in Portuguese and conducted her interviews in the language. There is a making-of extra, plus a Bruno-Amy commentary that I abandoned after 15 minutes for lack of content. Interesting tho is the one-of-a-kind deleted scene, in which Amy and a bunch of Brazilian players do a song & dance routine with soccer balls. Wow, I don’t know how they cut that scene out of the movie…

Check out Bruno Barreto’s other good soccer movie, Romeo & Juliet Get Married

6 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 6