On the surface, there appears to be little distinction between "The Real Cancun" and one of those sleazy "Girls Gone Wild" videos that are sold on late-night TV. However, appearances can be deceiving.
While both feature similar content scenes of college students and college-age kids getting drunk, taking their clothes off and being sexually promiscuous "The Real Cancun" shows all of this in its full context. Or at least as full a context as can be shown in a 90-minute movie.
That's an important distinction. For even though the film appears to be espousing the notion that there's nothing wrong with drunken debauchery, there are just as many times that it winds up becoming a cautionary tale . . . of sorts.
That it's all very watchable is not too surprising, considering that it comes from the producers of MTV's "The Real World."
This "reality" documentary has a similar concept to the "Real World" television programs. Sixteen people were selected from auditions to share a beachside condo in Cancun, Mexico, during the weeklong collegiate spring-break period. And it's a diverse group of "cast members":
There's Roxanne and Nicole, twins who talk about how shy they are about public nudity. (The truth is, despite all their protestations, they're not shy about it at all.)
Buddies Jorell and Paul are both trying to "get lucky" with the ladies, but with very different results.
Heidi and David are lifelong friends whose relationship has never taken a romantic turn.
And then there's Alan, the seemingly innocent Texan who's determined not to drink during the entire week. (But as he sees the other housemates hooking up, he begins changing his mind about that decision.)
Again, it's fascinating stuff to watch, as well as enlightening (especially if you're a parent paying for college tuition). And it's compiled very well by director Rick De Oliveira and a crew of editors, who let us get to know every one of the housemates . . . some more than we'd like.
The casting directors have done a good job of selecting a good cross-section of spring breakers to follow around. The amiable Alan has the potential to become a star if he so chooses.
"The Real Cancun" is rated R for frequent use of strong sex-related profanity and crude sexual talk, sex and sexual contact, copious female and male nudity, lewd dancing, brief drug content (references to drug use) and use of racial epithets. Running time: 90 minutes.