The Real Cancun


Directed by: Rick de Oliveira
Written by:None Since It’s A “Documentary”
Starring: People Who Can’t Act
Released: July 10, 2003
Grade: C-

“Spring break” in America is the equivalent of our “schoolies week” except that those in attendance are college students rather than school leavers.  One of the post popular locations is Cancun, Mexico where over 100,000 people will go for this annual ritual.  The non-stop partying mixed with alcohol and sex makes it an event teenage Americans cherish and look forward to.

The Real Cancun is a documentary which follows eight guys and eight girls over a one week holiday at this tropical location.  I use the term “documentary” because that is how the filmmakers describe their film but if this is a realistic portrayal of actual events then I am a jar of vegemite.  I’m not sure how these 16 cast members were chosen but they certainly weren’t picked at random judging from their tans and incredible good looks.  If everyone who goes on spring break looks and acts like these people, then book us all the next flight.

Reality television shows have been incredibly popular of late but I am blind to their attraction.  I can’t understand how the camera is always in the perfect location and why the characters speak so freely and honestly (as if the cameras didn’t exist).  These unanswered questions plagued my thoughts during every scene of The Real Cancun.  Quite a few people sleep together but they are always conveniently covered by a sheet.  Yeah, right.  Everybody is having an endlessly great time and not a single thing goes wrong nor any event seem uninteresting.  Whatever you reckon Mr. Cameraman.

The advertising for the film is targeting young adults by showing lots of scantily clothed males and females having the time of their lives.  If this ploy has heightened your own interest then save yourself the money because there is very little nudity (to ensure an M rating).  A few quick breast shots but that’s it.  I may sound devious is making reference to this matter but hey, sex is the selling point here and if it doesn’t deliver what it promises, then it deserves to get burned.

The Real Cancun was released in the United States back in April with much attention since New Line Cinema had invested under the presumption that the success of reality TV would translate into the success of reality movies.  In its opening weekend, the film debuted on over 900 screens across the country but grossed a dismal $2.1m to rank in a pathetic 10th place.  The film was pulled from 70% of these cinemas within a week and after just three weeks had disappeared completely.

It’s easy to speculate on the reasons behind the film’s horrible demise but my own hope is that people have finally brushed off the wool that’s being held over their eyes.  There’s more realism is Star Trek than in some of these reality programs.  The fad is growing tired very quickly and the sooner they get this garbage off the big screen, the sooner I can get back to critiquing films that deserve the effort.