Retro Review: The Real Cancun

Written: May 12, 2003

Drunks, half-naked co-eds, hot sun and lots of alcohol. Hmmm, sounds like my college days. Well, almost.

In the reality-TV inspired feature film, “The Real Cancun”, sixteen college students travel to the wilds of Cancun, Mexico during Spring Break. They flirt, hook-up, drop their inhibitions and drink heavily as cameramen film their every move. Can the reality formula translate to the silver-screen?

It is hard to understand, relate or feel for any of the students. This isn’t the fault of the cameramen or the students being filmed. The thing at fault here is the whole idea of capturing reality in 90 minutes. You can’t unless you are Jack Bauer on TV’s “24” and even then its insane. Do you know not once Jack Bauer has had to take a bathroom break or eat for that matter? So much for a show in real-time. Just food for thought.

The crippling aspect of “Real Cancun” is the formula that the film is thrust into. It’s like watching some stranger’s “R-rated” home-movies. I just don’t understand the thrill or have any memories to go with the experiences.

I could relate to the allure of Spring Break and the twenty-something angst of hooking up but it was hard because the barrier and atmosphere of a theatre just doesn’t seem to fit with what’s happening on screen. I kind of felt like one of those guys who sits in a booth with a roll of dollars and watches a stripper as a barrier is raised and lowered with every dollar. In other words, it is sleazy and uncomfortable.

If this film was shown during one of these twenty-something parties or there was some sort of on-campus screening then it could have been more successful. But just how many campuses want to watch a movie while attending a blow-out bash.

When I look back, “The Real Cancun” reminded me a lot of what a hot night club looks like when all the lights are turned on for the morning cleaning. A party after the fact isn’t fun for even the most open-minded of people.

The film was a great experiment but that’s about it.

(1.5 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

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