Producers Mary Ellis-Bunim and Jonathan Murray, who created MTV's pioneering reality series The Real World, bring their psuedo-documentary style to the big screen. They scoured college towns in search of 16 diverse strangers whom they could pluck from obscurity and deposit in a glamorous house in Mexico, where all their exploits over the course of a week were taped. The unscripted result is undeniably entertaining, though calling it "reality" is a bit of a stretch: Most vacationing college students don't arrive in Cancun and get set up in a posh dwelling with beachfront view and fully stocked bar, along with their own personal tour guides. The ever-present camera crews also bring the cast some added attention from other Spring Break attendees hoping for their own 15 minutes of fame. The raucousness begins when the co-eds land in Cancun, don their skimpy duds and head to the free bar to begin the process of getting to know each other. Eighteen-year-old Alan, who's never imbibed alcohol, declares that his goal for the week is to see some "boobies." And that he does. The beaches are a mass of topless party animals and housemates Roxanne and Nicole, New Mexican twins who make the Hilton sisters look like models of propriety, are the first to doff their tops during a wet T-shirt contest, helping nudge the out-of-control Spring Break mentality into full swing. Much effort is expended in the cause of getting Alan to loosen up and take his first drink; and there's lots of relationship drama as housemates attempt to hook up with members of the opposite sex, with varying degrees of success. Sara is stung by a jellyfish while bungee jumping and develops a yen for Matt, despite the fact that she has a boyfriend back home. Paul spends a great deal of time wooing Sky; long-time friends Heidi and David try and deal with the sexual tension between them; and self-proclaimed "ladies' man" Jeremy has an early fling with Laura that becomes extremely awkward. The film's most challenging aspect is trying to figure out who's who among the attractive cast. Only those who went out of their way to distinguish themselves stand out, while the others blur together or fall by the wayside. The film's editors did an admirable job of extracting complete story arcs from hundreds of hours of footage, especially given that filming ended on March 23, 2003 barely a month before the movie landed in theaters.
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- Released: 2003
- Rating: R
- Review: Producers Mary Ellis-Bunim and Jonathan Murray, who created MTV's pioneering reality series The Real World, bring their psuedo-documentary style to the big screen. They scoured college towns in search of 16 diverse strangers whom they could pluck from obsc… (more)