Emily Reed (Carré Otis) is a young woman lawyer from Kansas who arrives in New York City looking for work. She is a specialist in international business because she has working command of many languages. Two interviewers (Lester Berman and Steven Kaminsky) are really impressed with her qualifications and her wish to travel around the world, so they hire her immediately. They put her to work under Claudia Dennis (Jacqueline Bisset)'s direct supervision. That very same day, both women take a plane to Brazil, where they expect to sign a realtor contract locally. She was hired and sent on the trip in such haste that Emily didn't have time to pack and brought no luggage with her. Emily and Claudia take a room in a five-star hotel in Rio, where Flavio (Milton Gonçalves) escorts them personally to their suite. However, Claudia is angry because she needs to wait for a secretary until the following day.
The business will potentially earn them millions of dollars. From the hotel room, Emily gazes at a hunky volley-ball player (Jens Peter). Claudia and Emily set off to locate Elliot Costa (Michael Villela), the boss at a building site. He's not there, and Claudia gets frantic.
She even gets mud all over her white dress. Claudia sets off to look for him, as Costa has gone to a wedding, leaving Emily in Brazil, using the suit and Claudia's clothes. At a nearby derelict building, Emily sees a black couple making love (Anya Sartor and Joao Carlos Dos Santos). She flees from the sight.
She comes back to her hotel and is contacted by rich James Wheeler (Mickey Rourke), a wealthy American businessman who takes her out to dine and who admits that he himself had bought for Claudia the black party gown that Emily is wearing at the moment. During the dinner, they talk about Hanna Munch (Assumpta Serna) and her companion. Later, James takes Emily to a Carnival party dress, where everybody is wearing luxurious masks. A couple of dancers make love in the dance floor.
When Emily is approach by a man in his forties in a bear costume, she runs away. The next day, Emily, James, Hanna and Otto Much (Oleg Vidov) go to a beach party, where some American Navy privates are dancing with local girl. Anna is harassed by an American sailor (Paul Land), and James defends her. During the ruckass, later, somebody steals her necklace leaving her in topless. In the ensuing fight, the four friends run away in a limousine, being followed by the Navy men. At first, Hanna is hysterical and in tears, but then, she makes love to Otto in the limousine in front of James and Emily. Emily feels uncomfortable.
Later, Emily feels that all has been a plan of James to seduce her. He gives him Hanna's necklace. Finally, after some hesitation, Emily puts on a simple sexy blue dress and a mask, and goes back to the setting of the Carnival party. Otto tries to seduce her, talking about his situation with Hanna, as she is the one who really manages their finances. Emily leaves in disgust. On leaving, Emily comes across James. Otto reappears as well, giving her some money and a key to a room. From that room, Emily looks down at James.
He sees as Otto grabs her from behind in order to make love to her. Although Emily has a sudden wish not to do it, Otto calms her down. Claudia returns to Brazil from her business trip, and Emily has to run to meet her at the airport. Claudia wants to sign a deal with Elliot that very same day. When Claudia asks Emily what she thinks about Brazil, Emily hesitates. On Elliot's side, a male lawyer says he's met Emily before, but she denies so. During the negotiations, the lawyer pretends to use the fact that they've made love before as an advantage, but Claudia finds that pretension ridiculous and ludicrous, and laughs it off when Emily admits it to her. They sign the contract to Claudia and Emily's advantage.
Claudia and Emily dress as men and enjoy the Carnival celebration. Flavio tells them that James has bought the old hotel, so that the deal is over. James doesn't deny it when they challenge him for the truth. They finally sign a deal with the Japanese businessmen. The next day, Claudia is going to make love to the volleyball-player, and Emily has to translate for her since the man doesn't speak any English. He says that he wants both, but Emily translates that he wants to take Claudia to another room so that they can be alone.
It appears that they are going to have a menage-a-trois, but James interrupts them. Emily thinks he's set her up, but he denies it. After a long talk at his place, Emily and James finally end up making love (in a very, VERY erotic and climatic lovemaking scene). Later over the closing credits, a happy and confident Emily is seen riding with James on his motorcycle while Carnival rages on.