THE REAL CANCUN, which plays like a Playboy video cleaned up a bit in order to
be able to show it on late night MTV, is directed by Rick de Oliveira, whose
only other picture, you won't be surprised to learn, was the direct-to-video WHO
WANTS TO BE A PLAYBOY CENTERFOLD? A documentary about spring break, THE REAL
CANCUN has two themes -- booze and boobs. But, besides being a guilty pleasure
for most of us who never actually went on spring break, it is periodically a
fairly insightful film about young adult mores. For parents of kids in college,
however, it'll probably be a horror movie. (Some of the kids in the picture are
in college but many aren't.)
"Cancun, baby, who's comin' with me?" Jorell, one of the sixteen kids off to
Mexico on vacation, asks rhetorically in the film's opening. Based on its
disappointing opening weekend box office, not nearly as many as New Line would
It order to cut quickly to the chase, we see bare boobs in one of the first
scenes. "Hey, Dude, are we gonna get naked or what?" Casey, a surfer stoner
The girls like to ask each other such penetrating questions as, "Will you screw
everyone?" Actually there are a few virgins in the group, who surprised one
another when they admit it.
Biggest surprise to the kids? One guy, Alan, doesn't drink, ever. They'll soon
"fix" that "problem." Alan, however, has more than alcohol on his mind. He
keeps repeating what should be the film's tag line -- "I just wanna see some
There is lots of handsomely filmed girl-on-girl action, but the heterosexual sex
is shot in extremely grainy black and white with the people under very opaque
blankets. This is an unnecessary tease in a film rated R. Carefully cast, the
movie even includes every guy's fantasy -- beautiful, identical female twins.
The film also works as social commentary. "There's no such thing as 'too
drunk,'" a very inebriated Nicole says quite seriously to an equally drunk Alan.
In the last act, the kids begin to confess some honest feelings with a bit more
insight. If you want to know the truth about the habits and beliefs of many
young adults, the film tells it like it is.
Featuring almost all fat-free bodies, hot music, energetic editing and handsome
cinematography, it's a movie that's easy to watch. And there are even hot butt
contests for males to match the mainly T-shirtless wet T-shirt contests for the
"I Don't Want To Be Told To Grow Up," sings a group whose lead singer wears a
"Role Model" T-shirt. The song could be this hedonistic group's theme song.
The kids all want to be sexually active Peter Pans and never grow up. Grown-up
adults who are honest with themselves will find themselves yearning to relive
their youth. Most critics will, of course, feel obligated by the laws of
political correctness to condemn the movie without ever bothering to open their
eyes. They will not need to actually see the move to write their reviews, since
they already know what they think about it. Go in with an open mind, and you
may well find it both fascinating and enjoyable.
THE REAL CANCUN runs 1:30. It is rated R for "strong sexuality/nudity, language
and partying" and would be acceptable for older teenagers.
Copyright © 2003 Steve Rhodes