On second thought, maybe gyrating topless (and almost bottomless) with a twin sister, slathered in whipped cream, in front of hundreds of drunk revelers and movie cameras was not the best idea.
“I have no problem with nudity, but I’m worried that people will think I’m slutty,” says Nicole, 20, of Texas Tech University, who competes in a wet T-shirt contest in the spring break “reality” movie “The Real Cancun,” which opens on Friday.
“Cancun” is the first film to chronicle sex and relationships in the unscripted, 24/7-camera format popularized by MTV’s “The Real World” and CBS’ “Big Brother.” “Real World” creators Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray are the movie’s producers.
“That’s so not what I am,” Nicole continues. “I’m really sexually reserved. It was just all of these people were cheering me on, and spontaneity took over.”
Laura, a 20-year-old aspiring actress from the small town of Brandon, Wis., also succumbed to her impulses, and is not sure she wants her mom, dad and grandma to catch her big-screen debut.
“I knew that I would end up hooking up with somebody, and I thought Jeremy was cute,” she says of the guy she is seen having sex with in the film. “It was the first night, and whenever a new cast person came in, we took a shot of tequila. It was, like, 18 shots later and …”
She trails off. “I didn’t think about the future or consequences at all. I just lived minute by minute. I’m doing what half of the other kids my age do,” she says. “I just did it on camera.”
“The Real Cancun” used more than 100 surveillance cameras, 50 microphones and 5 miles of cable to capture the exploits of 16 college-age youths as they caroused during eight days in Mexico just last month.
Their adventures, which include copious body shots (in which you slurp alcohol out of someone’s navel), one-night stands and the transformation of a substance-free dweeb into a slurring, wasted, horn dog earned the film an R rating.
“When you attach an R rating to something, people see it as value added to the show,” says Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations, a company that tracks box-office sales. “You turn up the volume on the sex, nudity and language and people don’t mind paying for something that they can watch (a tamer version of) for free on TV or for their monthly cable fee.”
Trading on television’s taboo territory is often a lucrative venture for movie studios. MTV’s “Jackass the Movie,” an R-rated departure from its television counterpart, grossed about $65 million at the box office. The network has released four more explicit video collections of “The Real World You Never Saw.”
The Gidget-gone-bad esthetic is a hot one for upcoming movies.
Earlier this year, Universal Pictures shot a spring-break film, “The Quest,” produced by Mike Fleiss, creator of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.”
Following seven male cronies from the University of Colorado as they searched for, among other things, sex in Cabo, Mexico, the film, now called “Spring Break, the Movie,” was slated to come out on May 9 but was bumped to an as-yet-undisclosed release date.
Too much good material, the studio says, to get into shape so quickly.
MGM is working on a fictional adaptation of “Girls Gone Wild,” the popular straight-to-video series bursting with real-life footage of young women getting down and dirty during spring breaks and Mardi Gras events around the world.
“People are fascinated with (stories about) spring break because they know it’s fun and crazy,” says Bill Horn, a rep for the “Girls Gone Wild” series, which has sold 4.5 million copies and made $90 million. (Joe Francis, the founder of the series and production company Mantra Entertainment, was charged earlier this month with drug trafficking and racketeering related to prostitution. Parents had complained to police in Panama City Beach, Fla., that Francis asked minors to lie about their age so he could videotape them nude.)
“Porn can be so boring,” Horn says. “They are actors, they are paid, they have boobs that God clearly did not give them. But with our movies, and others like them, you get to see the girl next door going wild. It could be your neighbor. This is the real deal.”
However, some people believe reality movies featuring lewd behavior encourage dangerous stereotypes for women.
“It’s part of a whole culture’s impetus on mainstreaming pornography,” says Ann Simonton of Media Watch, a nonprofit advocacy group in Santa Cruz, Calif.
“What this does is give a very overt message that all women want to get drunk, take off their clothes and dance around,” she says. “If you’re different from that kind of female, you’re a prude, uptight, living in yesterday’s world.”
In “Cancun,” there was at least one holdout against hedonism. Sarah, a 21-year-old from Arizona State, refused to cheat on her boyfriend of three months.
“The temptation was all around, but I knew what I got to go home to,” she says of the beau she may someday marry. “It wasn’t worth losing that for a week of lust.”
She also managed to keep her bosom to herself.
“I want to be the next `Wild On …’ E! host and you have to show them clips of what you’ve done,” said the broadcast major. “I didn’t want to them to see me and think I was the type of girl who just takes it all off. It’s not respectable.”