Skip to main content

Candy Jar Shows a Reality of College Hunting

Check out Bethany's review:

Submitted by Joel on Fri, 11/30/2018 - 05:38

I enjoy a good coming of age movie. It's a pretty simple story, usually... a young person (or people) muddling through life and all the setbacks and learning experiences. There are usually bullies, love interests, wise teachers, and some major goal that the youths are trying to accomplish. This had pretty much all of that. But for me, there was something missing. It was missing a connection to my life, I think. Here we are presented with a reflection of reality, not something most ever experience, and when they do, it's not quite like what these kids are going through. This detachment from real life kept me from really enjoying the film. 

Candy Jar tells the story of two competitive teens vying for high school accolades in debate so they can add more to their resume for admissions to their Ivy League colleges (one to Yale, one to Harvard, so no direct competition). They struggle, they fight with each other, their parents struggle with them. There were some scenes that didn't make much sense, but they did an ok job trying to describe this foreign world of debate and being the best of the best. Apparently, there is a rule that you only have a certain amount of time so they auctioneer off their arguments as fast as they can. To me, this created a pretty major plot hole, but a description of it is a spoiler, so I'll post it with this warning:

--SPOILER ALERT-- *skip if you don't want any spoilers!!*
Here are these elite debaters striving to win this competition, shown taking notes on those that are doing well in the competition. But the one group not doing their rapid-style debating is climbing the ranks. These kids would have known that. They would have discussed and prepped and been ready, adjusting their style. 

Sadly, this wasn't the only such problem with their story line, in my opinion. Are they truly plot holes? No. They were just things that I felt weren't very realistic, but instead done for a bit of a wrench in their plans. I think there's plenty of real conflict in life, especially theirs, that they didn't have to manufacture drama like that.

So, in all, it was a pretty unmoving movie. There were a couple aspects that were pretty good, and a couple other aspects that brought it down. All in all, it was pretty underwhelming. You can skip it, I think.