Is it possible to reconcile happiness and social justice? This is the paradoxal quest pursued by several foreigners living in Brazil. Charlotte Rampling plays a British plastic surgeon determined to dissuade anyone wishing to go under the knife. Irène Jacob is a French anthropologist whose libidinal preoccupations take precedence over her political conscience. Bill Pullman is a troubled American ambassador who flees his responsibilities by hiding in one of Rio's most dangerous favelas. There he becomes an accomplice to the twisted little schemes of Fisher Stevens, a tourist guide and romantic con artist. All these stories intertwine in a fantastical comedy that is nevertheless anchored in the reality of Rio de Janeiro, known quite rightly as "the city of wonders".