Day 2 of Valentine’s Marathon is here and this double feature is C & D selection from Netflix alphabet. This time, we are looking at Netflix film Candy Jar released last year. For the next one is a 2011 Hong Kong International Film Festival opening film Don’t Go Breaking My Heart starring two Hong Kong heartthrobs, Louis Koo and Daniel Wu. Its already looking up from the starting double feature yesterday!
Let’s check it out!
Candy Jar (2018)
Director: Ben Shelton
Cast: Jacob Latimore, Sami Gayle, Helen Hunt, Christina Hendricks, Uzo Aduba
Dueling high school debate champs who are at odds on just about everything forge ahead with ambitious plans to get into the colleges of their dreams. – IMDB
Candy Jar is really very borderline teen romance. Its more of a coming of age with some little romance of debate enemies with social status differences as well that end up finding their true meaning together and start falling for each other. There’s some chemistry there but the movie has these heavy debate moments which just keeps repeating over and over again in a rather unnecessary means. I think it was to emphasis the debate process of talking extremely fast that they are like robot and losing the meaning of living and experiencing human emotions. Candy Jar is a pretty average film. Its harmless in its story and has a rather positive message of being true to yourself and living with life’s inevitable wins and losses because sometimes something else is around the corner waiting for you and plans change. “Sometimes we lose” is something that these two learn throughout.
While I can’t say that the chemistry between these two was outstanding but they did have their good bits that worked with me. What I liked was seeing the friendship that they found between themselves when they lost someone equally important to them. It lead them to find their similarities more than their differences. With that said, Helen Hunt does a cameo supporting role of sorts and I really liked seeing her here even if it was a huge role. Although, I’m still scratching my head on why its called Candy Jar other than the fact that candy shows up a lot here.
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (2011)
Director: Johnnie To
Cast: Louis Koo, Yuanyuan Gao, Daniel Wu, Suet Lam
An original twist on an eternal triangle, where secret crush and unrequited love take on altogether newfangled meanings of their own. – IMDB
Never in a million years would I have thought Johnnie To would direct a romantic comedy. I’m not sure what skills it takes to do it because I’m not a director however as silly as some of this movie, because that is just how Hong Kong romantic comedy likes to do it, there’s this charm to this film that I love. I could be because I personally have been fans of Louis Koo and Daniel Wu since forever. I mean, I’ve almost felt like I’ve watched both of them since the beginning of their acting careers so its hard to not really love how they have grown as actors. However, I’ve never seen Yuanyuan Gao before although I love her style and how she interpreted this character. This movie is a really coming together of Hong Kong and China as the conversation is both in Mandarin and Cantonese and I like how it does that because some films will choose to dub, which almost never a fun movie experience. Plus, I applaud the movie how it give both the male leads their time in the movie, making it less conventional as a love triangle while still giving the ending a unconventional ending as well (at least it went the opposite of what I thought would happen and that made me happy because the female lead finally chose the guy I thought she should choose).
As much as I love Hong Kong film and know their little quirks and signatures that people like to lean towards in their plot lines, its always nice to see the attempt of something different. There are some huge romantic gestures here and some core romance values which is talked about here and the leads have chemistry in both their ways but the story does sometimes feel disjointed. There’s still some fun qualities out of this one that works for myself especially because it keeps its cast very tight so we can connect with these three leads.
That’s it for this Valentine’s Double Feature with C&D selection!
Have you seen any of these movies? Thoughts?