In the tradition of MTV's "The Real World," The Real Cancun tells the story of 16 college-aged strangers that travel to Cancun on Spring Break and looks at the drama and relationships that ensue. However, in the process of converting from small screen to big screen, those responsible forgot to include everything that makes "The Real World" so popular, but did manage to make The Real Cancun undoubtedly one of the worst movies of 2003.
The Real Cancun is the first of hopefully few reality movies, following the trend of reality TV that has become so popular over the last few years. It was scary to think that if The Real Cancun succeeded financially, a dozen more reality movies would be made over the next year; thankfully, the movie flopped, and reality movies will have to wait for another time.
First off, let me explain what makes "The Real World" so popular. I am not a huge fan of the show, but it is enjoyable to watch, because, over the course of 24 episodes or so, the audience "gets to know" the cast members through various interactions and confessionals, which are scenes where the person is talking directly to the camera and telling us his or her thoughts. This same outline is used in almost every reality television show, including "Survivor."
For some reason, The Real Cancun does not have any confessionals, and so it is up to the audience to determine what the "characters" are thinking and planning on doing. This is okay in traditional movies, but when there are 16 characters jammed into an hour and a half movie, things become impossible. To make matters worse, director Rick De Olivereira does not put the names of the cast members on the screen, so I hardly at all knew who any of the people were.
It was these technicalities that destroyed The Real Cancun, but there were other flaws that drove the stake through the heart. Basically, the characters are all the same, young, pretty and slender. They all look the same and for the most part they all think the same. Boring!
The editing is also terrible; the director thrusts us into the middle of a scene, disregarding the fact that there needs to be build-up and tension in scenes. He just shows us exactly what is happening, without giving much context.
Worst of all, and the main reason why this movie failed, is that The Real Cancun offers very little that cannot be seen on cable. Really, the amount of nudity and sex in this movie is disappointing; the film needed at least three times as much to be even remotely good. So, in other words, those looking for boobs (as I was) shall be sorely disappointed.
The Real Cancun is a dreadfully awful attempt at translating reality television to movies, and it is a Godsend that it failed so miserably. Even my roommate (a 21-year old girl), an avid reality watcher, hated the movie. That has to say something.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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