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Film / Copacabana

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Sweet Heaven!

A 1985 Made-for-TV Movie musical based on Barry Manilow's 1978 smash hit song "Copacabana". Stars Barry Manilow as Tony Starr, Annette O'Toole as Lola Lamar and Joseph Bologna as Rico Castelli.

This film provides examples of:

  • Disappeared Dad: Tony's dad walked out on him and his mom when Tony was a kid.
  • How We Got Here: The movie begins with Lola drinking at a bar in The '80s. The rest of the movie is a flashback illustrating how things happen and get to the moment she's at the bar.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Tony loves Lola, Rico loves Lola, Lola loves Tony, and so does Pam.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Tony's parents split up because of social pressure related to their ethnic and religious differences.
  • Meet Cute: Tony and Lola meet while they both appear on a game show. It's a rather awkward encounter in the hallway after their game show appearance.
  • Mythology Gag: In the song, Tony "sailed across the bar" in order to challenge Rico. It doesn't happen quite that way in this version, but he does jump over the bar earlier in the story, when seizing the chance to take over for the drunken pianist.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Rico tells Lola that the giant diamond ring he's given her is known as The Star of the Caribbean, but everyone else calls it The Kiss of Death, because of what happened to the last girl Rico gave it to...
  • Third-Option Adaptation: In the song, we know that a) somebody shot somebody during the confrontation between Rico and Tony, and b) decades later, Tony's gone. This could mean that Rico shot Tony, but it could also mean that Tony shot Rico and then was executed or died in prison. In the movie, it's Tony who gets shot... and it's Lola who does it.
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: It's amazing how quickly people can make travel arrangements to foreign countries back in 1948!
  • Twist Ending: Anyone who's heard the song knows that Tony gets shot, but in the movie, it turns out that it was Lola and not Rico who shot him. It was an accident during a struggle for the gun.