I'd finally weaned myself off "The Real World" ' that Las Vegas cast was so annoying ' and now here's The Real Cancun, which compresses the TV series' usual three months into eight days of wet T-shirt contests, hot-bod contests and tequila shots, lots and lots of tequila shots. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free on television, one might ask, especially now that local movie-ticket prices have broken the $8 barrier? Two reasons, I'd say: 1) all that compression, which creates enormous pressure on the cast to deliver the goods early and often, and 2) boo-tay! A Girls Gone Wild video posing as a Margaret Mead exercise in cultural anthropology, The Real Cancun veritably wallows in college-age, spring-break flesh. Hence the movie's R-rating from the MPAA, "for strong sexuality, nudity, language and [I love this] partying."
And now, let's meet our stars ' 16 strangers picked to stay at a luxury hotel and find out what happens when people start getting real drunk. There's Alan, a freshly scrubbed virgin from Lubbock, Texas, who's never had a sip of liquor when he arrives. If The Real Cancun is about anything, it's about Alan's deflowering. Then there's Casey, an aspiring model who spends the whole week trying to get women to take off their clothes and make out with him. (Surprisingly few accept the offer, perhaps because that's all he has to offer.) Jeremy, a muscle-packed pretty boy, has the best ' i.e., most outrageously egotistical ' line. "Girls go on spring break to find guys like me," he says in his casting interview. And sure enough, one look at him and they dutifully line up to get their tickets punched by Mr. Sensitive.
There is a sensitive guy (his name escapes me), but you can almost feel the camera nodding off when he pulls out his acoustic guitar. And there are a couple of black dudes, Jorell and Paul, who largely keep to themselves except when Paul's trying to get some from "the token black girl" (her words, not mine), Sky. That he's never altogether successful contributes to the show's subtext, which is that, all these years after Beach Party and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini, women still have to watch their step lest they be labeled sluts. Meanwhile, the men stomp through bed after bed. Not that the women don't talk dirty, down tequila shots and strut their stuff at the drop of a bikini strap. But when the men start importing booty from outside the cast, the women ' some of them, anyway ' go ballistic.
I'm sorry I haven't individualized the women more. They kind of blurred in my mind, especially the twins, Nicole and Roxanne. Actually, the entire cast blurred in my mind, everybody except Alan, who manages to hold on to his virginity while 1) licking shots off women's belly buttons, 2) winning the hot-bod contest and 3) exclaiming to anyone within shouting distance, "I just wanna see some boobies." He's not the only one, apparently. The Friday afternoon audience I saw the movie with was predominantly lone men of various ages. I kept waiting for someone to issue us raincoats. The Real Cancun may not have very much to do with "reality"; given its 100-person crew, this is fly-on-the-wall filmmaking with a fly the size of a T-rex. But I, for one, would take it over the next Jurassic Park sequel any ol' day.