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Each year, over 40,000 college students travel to Cancun, Mexico for Spring Break. This year, for the first time, sixteen people come together for eight days in a beachfront Cancun villa for the ultimate vacation. Bonds are forged, romances sparked, friendships tested, hearts broken, all amidst a backdrop of non-stop partying.

Review by Louise Keller:
Sexy, sassy and spontaneous, The Real Cancun is a compelling fly-on-the-wall look at a group of college students at play. Mexico’s Cancun (pronounced ‘Can coon’) is to Americans is what Surfer’s Paradise is to Aussies during Schoolies Week: sun, surf and sex – with no limits. 

This is ‘Blurred’ Mexican-style, totally unscripted and with a carefully selected cast of 16 (8 female/8 male), chosen for their lack of inhibitions. (The intensive casting process comprised 30 call back sessions for 10,000 potential cast members.) After producing 13 years of reality television, Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray have found a winning recipe: superb editing, a funky soundtrack and the good-looking guys and dolls in a fantasy destination laced with temptation. 

A combo of entertainment-cum-voyeurism, this is a fresh and energetic romp. By the time we get to meet this group of diverse and (sometimes) interesting people on screen, a skilled production team has shot 500 hours of footage and moulded it into a storyline by story editors who have been viewing monitors located in every room; 44 of them. It’s hard to tell that the entire film is shot on video: the quality of picture and sound is superb. There’s bungy jumping, swimming with dolphins, horse-riding, wet t-shirt competitions, dancing, drinking, conversing, as well as the sex, including partner swapping and falling out of relationships. 

From the superficial to the personal, we see it all. There’s Jeremy from Arizona, who looks like a young, hot Lachlan Murdoch. His idea of a good time is to live up to his ladies’ man tag. Then there’s Jorell and Paul – two black dudes from Los Angeles who just want to have fun (watch for the intriguing scene when Paul makes some revelations about how ‘size does count’). Roxanne and Nicole are blonde Texan twins who are pretty wild. And surprisingly, the ‘star’ is 19 year-old Alan from Texas, who is a non-drinker with no experience with the ladies and who provides the film’s most satisfying moments. 

The greatest dramatic curve occurs when Alan finally gets into the Tequila shots (not only from glasses, but licked from women’s bodies). But that’s just the beginning – he wins the ‘hot bod’ competition when all the guys drop their bathers, and then he gets a taste for the girls. While not much is left to our imagination, the filmmakers have been careful not to overload us with ‘too much information.’ It’s funny, absorbing stuff especially if you’re interested in human behaviour. The Real Cancun is as scorching as the Mexican sun.

On the DVD, the special features offer more candid insights into the college students, why they got involved, who they are, and who they think they are. The Cast Insights are precisely that, when egos are all on display. Check out the Deleted Scenes and highlights from the theatrical premiere.

Published December 18, 2003

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CAST: Documentary

DIRECTOR: Rick De Oliveira


RUNNING TIME: 97 minutes

PRESENTATION: Dolby Digital 5.1; English Stereo surround sound; English subtitles for the hearing impaired; widescreen 1.78:1;

SPECIAL FEATURES: Cast Insights; Deleted Scenes; Highlights from the theatrical premiere;

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: December 3, 2003

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