The Real Cancun Review
By Shawn McKenzie 04/27/2003
I think I should be concerned about Hollywood reading my mind. Last year, I thought it was weird that they came out with a court TV reality show that was tightly edited and interesting. I had always thought it would be fascinating to see a show that ultimately became ?Law & Order: Crime & Punishment.? Now they have done it again with the movie The Real Cancun. I always wondered what ?The Real World? would be like if it were uncensored. Now I know?for the most part.
The movie takes place during spring break week 2003 in Cancun, Mexico. The producers of the movie gathered 16 young men and women (eight of each gender) together for eight days and nights at the Baccara Hotel (which was closed off to the public to film the movie.) Like a regular fictional movie, several ?characters? stand out with main stories, while the rest are supporting characters. 21-year-old Sarah becomes friends with 20-year-old Matt after he saves her leg, which had been stung by a jellyfish following her bungee jump, by applying a bodily fluid on it. The two are Arizona State University students, and there might be some sparks between them. 18-year-old Alan, from Rowlett, Texas, has never had a drink in his life. He is also quite shy around girls. Of course, it becomes everyone?s mission to corrupt him as soon as possible. 20-year-old identical twins Nicole and Roxanne are every horny guy?s fantasy by being uninhibited and doing things like competing in a wet T-shirt contest together. 21-year-old Paul is attracted to 21-year-old community college student Sky (who calls herself the ?token black girl.?) Paul gets frustrated with Sky as her logic about pursuing the opposite sex is a little odd and confusing. Paul?s friend Jorell provides some comic relief and hangs out with Alan and Jeremy, a 22-year-old business-marketing graduate. Jeremy wants to hook up with any woman he can while he is there (even though he has a girlfriend back home.) He sets his sights on 20-year-old Laura, an aspiring actress from Brandon, WI. Heidi and David, both 18-years-old, are lifelong friends from Massachusetts who have never ?hooked up,? but the sexual tension and the alcohol might change that this week. The ?supporting characters? include 25-year-old model Casey (the Jeff Spicoli of the group who wants to make out with all the women), 19-year-old biochemistry major Brittany, 20-year-old management major Ben, and 21-year-old sex columnist Amber. Jay and Chris, the Sun Splash tour operators, organized all of the activities over the week, such as the nightclub visits and the romps with dolphins. Simple Plan and Snoop Dogg (and Hot Action Cop during the closing credits) also treated the 16 spring breakers to live performances. All week long, they party, drink, have sex, and do fun activities, and they all bond with each other over the week. Not surprisingly, when the week ends, no one wants to leave.
Now, regular visitors to Entertain Your Brain know that I am a big fan of reality shows. The more gratuitous the show is the better. I knew that there was no way a reality show could be uncensored unless it was in movie form (unless it is on premium cable, like Showtime?s very explicit ?Family Business?), so I knew it was a matter of time when a movie like this would come out. Who better to bring us the first ?reality movie? than Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray, the creators of the MTV show that ushered in the era of reality TV, ?The Real World.? Their 12th season, the Las Vegas cast, was probably one of the naughtiest seasons to date, and I think this movie is what their spring break would have looked like. As you can probably tell, I liked the movie.
My favorite ?story? was the one involving Alan. I could identify with the guy, because I too was a shy geek in college who had never had a drink. Unlike high school, where everyone ridiculed me for being antisocial, my fellow college chums tried to break me out of my shell. I eventually learned how to have fun (though it took longer than a week, as opposed to Alan?s experience), so it was very familiar to watch him make those sour drinking faces and dance goofy in the nightclubs.
Unfortunately, other things about the movie were also a little too familiar. It reminded me of some of the inane conversations I used to have in my college years (some under the influence of alcohol.) At one point in the movie, Jeremy says that he thinks guys need a psychology degree to understand women, yet he doesn?t want to try very hard to hook up with one of them. The movie also makes me sad that I missed out on spring break myself. I never had the money to go, so I was all alone those weeks. I never went to prom either. I?m a sad, sad geek.
The movie was uncensored, but not as much as it could have been. Sure, there was raw language and nudity, but the nudity seemed to be just the flashing kind. It could have been another Girls Gone Wild video. When it came to the main characters ?getting busy,? there wasn?t anything more explicit than any scene from the last season of ?The Real World? (aside from a few grunts and groans.) I know this isn?t a porno, but there should have been a little more shown.
The Real Cancun is further proof that the reality craze is nowhere near gone. Teens and young adults will love this flick, but they won?t want their parents to watch it, because the parents will never allow them to celebrate spring break after seeing all the
debauchery. As far as intellectual theft goes, I?m thinking about wearing a lead cap, so Hollywood doesn?t read my mind again and steal another one of my ideas!
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