By Stephanie Zacharek
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Voice Film Club
By Chris Klimek
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Amy Nicholson
By David Konow
"Watching Alan was truly painful," Hoag says, which, in Hoag-speak, is a good thing. The more excruciating the on-screen action, the better. "It's been a lot of years, but man, his lines brought back some memories. I've probably looked as absurd and awkward as Alan."
Alan heroically holds his ground until about the third day, but the peer pressure simply becomes too much. He's finally persuaded to try his first tequila shot. After surviving it, he looks around and says, "You know what I deserve? Some boobies!"
Okay, he's still a dork. But the filmmakers seem determined to transform him, and later, after a clearly fixed hot-body contest that Alan wins (imagine Jim Carrey in a Speedo, and you get some idea), we see Alan become the sex god he was born to be. Suddenly, women can't get enough of him.
Hoag's assessment wasn't so sanguine. "The drinking only made him look stupid enough to resemble all of the other idiots," says the teetotaling singer. "I'm not a big moralist, but if you're a young guy watching the movie, that's the message you're going to take away. That without drinking you're miserable. With lots of drinking, everything's good."
Hoag wasn't thrilled about the film's fucking scenes, either. We get several. Jeremy, one of the pretty boys, beds three or four different women in the week, abandoning his partners as soon as they've succumbed and becoming a walking advertisement for everything women hate about men. Matt, meanwhile, gets a quickie in the shower. But the seduction everyone's been waiting for since almost the first frame gets derailed.
From the initial day on the beach, it's clear that Paul, one of only two African-American men along for the adventure, has designs on the lone black female, Sky.
Sky is a lovely young woman who utters the memorable line: "If you have a short dick, my favorite position is with another motherfucker." Alluring and statuesque, Sky makes it clear that she expects a man to pursue her with dogged perseverance. And for several days, the likable Paul does just that. And unlike Alan or the others, Paul's actually got skills. "Only Paul was smooth," Hoag says.
But after several days of hard work, Paul finally makes a move, attempting to kiss Sky in the pool, only to be flatly rejected. Sky jumps away and storms out, making it clear that Paul has gone too far.
Thus spurned, can Paul be blamed for picking up an attractive Asian girl at a club that night and bedding her?
And there's no question the act occurred. Infrared cameras in Paul's room show the naked man scurrying to get into his bed, followed shortly by the unrobed girl joining him. We're then treated to the animal with two backs -- under a sheet -- as we get to hear unmistakable forest sounds.
"You can show as much nudity as you want. But people doing it, even under a sheet? I'm kinda shocked, to tell you the truth," Hoag says, unhappy that any of the screwing scenes made it on screen.
"I read an article about the Osbournes, about how people at an awards show were pretty shocked by the Osbournes' obscenities because they'd always been used to their language getting bleeped on their TV show. I think it shows that we prefer censored reality. The Real Cancun did the same thing to me. The obscenities and nudity that would have been blocked in a TV version just made the film tawdry, not titillating."
Far more interesting to the punk musician was the aftermath of Paul's conquest, when he was confronted by an angry Sky.
"Sky's reaction to Paul was retarded. I don't know that she was hurt so much as her thing is to make the guy work hard. But Paul's sleeping with the Asian girl made Sky realize that she didn't have him wrapped around her finger the way she thought she did. I almost thought she deserved it. See what happens when you play too hard to get?" But Paul is the smooth one, so he manages to salvage the situation. On the trip's last night, he gets into Sky's bed and engages (at least) in some intimate touching.
Did Sky give up more? Like plenty of other story lines developing in the Cancun resort house, this is one that isn't resolved. Perhaps it's asking too much for The Real World to develop fully in only a week. Even Puck needed more time than that to become infamous, or for Trishelle and Steven to hook viewers.
Hoag was clearly not entirely unsatisfied by the experience.
"Now I'm going to have to feel even stupider, not just seeing this film but now going online to research these people and what happened to them," he says.
"Oh, I rue the day."
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