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Candy Jar
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Candy Jar

Ben Shelton’s Netflix Original “Candy Jar” is a sweet addition to the teen film genre, a fanciful examination of the modern education system and its effect on the social adjustment of its students.“Candy Jar” thrusts the audience into the high school senior year struggle of debate co-presidents Lona (Sami Gayle) and Bennett (Jacob Latimore) in their perpetual competition with one another as they apply for Ivy League colleges.

Lona’s mother Amy (Christina Hendricks) and Bennett’s mother Julia (Uzo Aduba), constantly push them to beat each other, living out their rivalry vicariously through their children. As Lona and Bennett constantly try to one-up each other, they realize their relationship may not only be described as competitive.

The screenplay creates a dialogue about the value of time spent in high school and the cost of higher education from a viewpoint rarely explored: the students of preparatory schools. Shelton drops us into the conflict between Lona and Bennett as they try to convince Principal Nelson (Tom Bergeron) to choose one of them as president of the debate club at their prestigious prep school. The tension between Lona and Bennett extends beyond their professional relationship as debaters and is fueled by their parents’ dislike for each other.

Duration: 92 min


IMDb: 5.8

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