Candy Jar is a 2018 American romantic comedy film directed by Ben Shelton and starring Sami Gayle and Jacob Latimore. The screenplay concerns a dueling high school debate champion duo who are trying to get into the colleges of their dreams. The film was released on April 27, 2018 on Netflix
In the principal’s office of Hemlock Prep Academy, Lona Skinner internally monologues about her hate towards Bennet Russell, her fellow debate club member.
They compete to be president of their two-person debate club as it would look good on their college applications; Lona – Harvard and Bennet – Yale. Ultimately, the principal declares them co-presidents, despite their protests.
At the debate tournament, Lona’s mother, Amy, and Bennet’s mother, Julia, are passive aggressive towards each other. Both Bennet and Lona make it to finals, and are declared co-champions as they are from the same school. The next day, they each send in their college applications.
Despite Lona’s protests, Amy makes her dress for homecoming. Lona leaves the house, promising to go, but instead walks to the movies. She bumps into Bennet, who is also dressed for the dance. After the movie ends, Bennet offers Lona a ride home, and they get fast food, eating outside by the waterfront.
Their mothers are again hostile to each other next day at the regional qualifying tournament. Julia is meant to be a guest speaker, but Amy heckles her.
Kathy, the school guidance counselor and their confidant, is told by both that their mothers are the reason neither qualified for the state championship.
Kathy suggests maybe they just lost, but Bennet explains that the same happened in middle school twice. She tries to get them to work as a team to try and qualify in another round of state regionals, but neither wants to.
Bennet eventually tricks Lona into agreeing to team up, and they begin to study together. Together, they qualify for the state championship, but both worry about their college applications. Kathy makes them promise to have fun, no matter where they end up.
The results come in later that night, and neither gets into their dream school. Julia tries to use her influence to get Bennet into Yale, only to infuriate Bennet.