`The Real Cancun': Fun and games for boys and girls

Reality adventure in Mexico is as artificial as they come

Movie Reviews

April 25, 2003|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC

There's nothing real about Cancun, as The Real Cancun stubbornly demonstrates.

Adapting many of the ground rules from MTV's The Real Word (the creative people behind that series and this film are largely identical), The Real Cancun features 16 college-age extroverts - eight guys, eight gals - living together under the same roof. They're filmed constantly (even while having sex, although then they're discreetly covered by handy blankets), and audiences are supposed to delight in the specter of watching people being themselves.

Yeah, they forget all about the cameras, right?

According to The Real Cancun, there are three main groups of young people: those who have sex and get drunk, those who want to have sex and get drunk, and those who demean people who don't have sex and get drunk. Here, the target of the latter is a guy by the name of Alan who has no desire to imbibe and wants to get to know a girl a little before jumping between the sheets with her. Never fear, his roommates soon show him the light.

FOR THE RECORD - In yesterday's Today section, a review of the film The Real Cancun misidentified the two friends who share a platonic relationship. The friends' names are Heidi and David.
The Sun regrets the error.

Among the other roomies are Roxanne and Nicole, twin sisters who seem to have never met a top they couldn't whip off; Casey, a 25-year-old model whose conversation is limited to variations on the question, "Do you girls want to make out with me now?"; and Jorell and Paul, lifelong platonic friends who make out.

Paul, by the way, is a songwriter who romanticizes the '80s as the greatest decade ever. 'Nuff said.

The action soon grows not only predictable - oh, another drunken binge, another wet T-shirt contest, another horny guy desperately seeking another horny girl - but tiresome. Not even the occasional Girls Gone Wild-inspired moment does much to arouse interest.

Of course, there's nothing real about the situation, either: Sixteen young people are plopped inside an expansive Cancun hotel room for spring break, supplied with limitless alcohol and limitless opportunities for sex, and then are filmed. How contrived can you get?

At least in The Real World on TV, the guys and gals live together for a hefty chunk of time; one of the series' genuine fascinations is watching their relationships develop, in all their trivial minutiae. There's time for real growth to occur, real bonds to be made, real hearts to be broken.

There's no time for any of that in The Real Cancun, where the only question is how many levels of meaning can be plumbed from the phrase "Let's party!"

The Real Cancun

Starring 16 college-age students

Directed by Rick De Oliveira

Rated R

Released by New Line Cinema

Time 90 minutes

Sun Score * 1/2

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