“The Real Cancun”

Real Cancun

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
April 25, 2003

0 stars


Reality not only bites in “The Real Cancun.” It smells.

Watching this film, I thought about a recent Onion Headline: “Girl Gone Wild Actually Just Regular Girl, Only More Insecure and Drunk.” Add the male gender into that headline and you’ve pretty much got the plot for what’s being touted as the first reality feature film, courtesy of the producers of MTV’s “The Real World.”

Given the prurient but entertaining episodes of this season’s “The Real World” (thanks to the highly attractive and vaguely immoral Las Vegas cast)–and the ruthless catfights that fueled this year’s “The Real World/Road Rules Battle of the Sexes”–I’m surprised this feature film (which includes a new cast of characters) not only is dull but also almost painful to watch.

The highlight of this quasi-documentary is hearing a snippet of Gorillaz’ “Clint Eastwood.” The funniest bit is the inclusion of a tune called “The STD Song.” The saddest thing is seeing a group of young men and women so desperate for their 15 minutes of fame–and a free trip to Mexico–that they allowed camera crews to record their indiscretions.

The movie promises to be fun and uncensored. In reality, this translates into coeds flashing their breasts and drunk guys sticking their Speedo-clad butts out to be spanked.

I blame this movie not on the clueless 16 young’uns who share the spotlight, but on producers Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray. Having started “The Real World” phenomenon in 1992, they of all people should know that, yes, the promise of bare breasts will attract viewers who probably have never seen a nude woman without staples in the middle. But a dull, listless cast will leave them wanting more. Fast.

Though the filmmakers say they weeded through 10,000 potential cast members before paring down to a cast of 16, they spent just eight days filming the kids last month. The shoddy production value shows in uneven camerawork and the choice of material. It’s like the story editor didn’t have enough time to weed through the film to find any interesting tidbits. Not even MTV’s patented quick cuts can save this wretched mess. None of it makes any sense.

For instance, since the whole point of this film is waiting for a bunch of college students to have sex on camera during spring break, why aren’t all of them actual students? One is a waitress from Wisconsin. Another is a model (though he’s also probably a waiter most of the time).

The cast members probably aren’t as stupid or sleazy as they’ve been edited to be. But onscreen, they come off as idiots. Alan, initially the film’s most sympathetic character, quickly grows to be the most annoying. After allowing himself to be bullied into drinking, the walking hormone goes on a never-ending search for “boobies.” Not realizing he actually is a boob, Alan manages to offend even some of his castmates.

Speaking of whom, twins Nicole and Roxanne look horrified during their audition when they’re asked to hold hands. Flash forward to Cancun: The milk-fed sisters are not only ripping off their tops to reveal pierced nipples, but they’re also grinding into each other like strippers.

Apparently, straight young women these days have been conditioned by their boyfriends and soft-core porn into thinking that lesbianism as entertainment is a good thing. Sisterly lesbianism is even better! Either that, or they’re just too stupid to say “no” to what boys want.

Looking at these kids stumble around onscreen for 90 very long minutes, three words come to mind: Thin the herd.


Comments (1)

  1. Emma Swenson says:

    I saw this movie. It was worse than bad. Laughably so, in fact!

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