Candy Jar (2018) Movie Script

Look at him.
Look at that smug look on his smug face.
He thinks the presidency
is his birthright,
like he's the heir to the throne.
I don't care who your mother is.
You just want to ruin my chances
of getting into Harvard, don't you?
Like when you brought in the governor
to upstage
my kindergarten graduation speech.
But I'm not gonna let you get in my way,
not this time.
God, do I detest you.
I loathe you, Bennett Russell.
I despise you, Bennett Russell.
- I abhor you...
- Isn't that right, Lona?
I'm sorry?
Isn't your president
usually decided by a vote?
Yes, but since we have an even number
of members, we cannot have a vote.
- Well, how many members do you have?
- Two.
- Uh, she and I.
- Her and I.
- Her and myself.
- Him and me, myself and I. We, two!
- I got it.
- He gets it.
seniority should take precedent.
- I'm a month older than she is.
- No, seniority, not age.
I've participated and placed
in more total events than he has,
including the state tournament.
I've also raised more money
than she has for our program,
and for our school
and for that lovely building...
You don't get to buy your way
to the top with your mother's Rolodex.
Isn't this ultimately
Mr. Johnson's responsibility?
But he said that if he made the decision,
it would cause tension in our club.
- Principal Nelson, this is our...
- Co-presidents!
Co what?
Therefore, unlike years past,
the two of you will finally learn
how to work together.
No! Co-presidents goes against the purpose
of even having a president.
Fine. No president.
No president?
No president, co-president,
I don't give a damn.
A year from now,
I'm gonna be in the south of France,
sipping something strong,
sweet and expensive, capiche?
No capiche.
Lona, I don't have the energy,
I don't have the time.
Frankly, I've already forgotten
what club you're here...
- Debate!
- Debate!
Go. Out. Scram.
Go talk to Kathy.
Principal Nelson knows
how much we hate each other.
- What is he trying to accomplish?
- Maybe it'll teach you a lesson.
What lesson?
I don't know. Just sounded like
the kind of thing I should say.
Kathy, this is a vehement hatred.
There's nothing that we agree on.
- You both don't like the arrangement.
- Besides that.
- And you both hate each other...
- You're not helping.
You are now one of the presidents.
Put that in your little Harvard
application and move on.
- To what?
- To whatever your heart desires.
Kathy, my heart is a muscular organ
that pumps blood through my body,
and, although romanticized,
has no bearing on my love life
- or my moral decision-making.
- All right.
Let me rephrase.
You ask anybody to Homecoming yet?
I'm not a social person.
So what? You think I waited around
for some guy to ask me out?
No, sir.
I got things done on my own terms.
And look at me, I did great.
My greatest skill is arguing with people.
That's not date material.
If you show up at that dance
wearing a tux,
you're gonna be approached by more ladies
than that guy on that sexist TV show,
I can never remember the name.
What's it called,
the one with the bachelor?
- The Bachelor.
- That's the one.
I mean, but why have a relationship
in high school?
You wind up at different colleges,
and then it was all a waste of time.
Why do you guys take Calculus
when you're not gonna become engineers?
Because Calculus teaches you to...
Whatever it teaches you,
it doesn't matter.
It gives you tools, right?
So your argument
is that I'll become a better kisser?
No! My argument...
Well, yes. Wait, yes!
I was gonna talk about lasting
relationships, but kissing is better.
Forget Yale.
Focus on becoming a better kisser.
- Are you writing this down?
- You want me to write it?
The world needs good men
who know how to kiss.
I'm dead serious.
Are you writing this down?
- No!
- Well, you should,
because Research Connection
is the gold standard!
You can't even do
a date-specific search on that site,
- and it's a hundred dollars more...
- It's $50 more.
Yeah, easy for you to say
when you wipe your ass with $50 bills.
But for those of us who don't have
the opportunity to have that luxury...
Not my tempo.
"Not my tempo."
Come on, from Whiplash.
Really? Nobody saw it? JK Simmons.
He won an Academy Award.
Mr. Johnson, as I was saying...
The extra 50 bucks
is within our budget, Lona.
And furthermore,
there's no reason you should ever mention
your fellow student's estimated wealth
and whether they can or cannot afford
to wipe their butts
with any type of currency.
Mr. Johnson, it's a terrible site.
We only get to buy a subscription
to one research database per year,
and it should be East Law.
It's ranked number one.
- By you and your mom?
- By U.S. News Report.
And besides,
we have to conserve our funds,
so that Taylor and Tucker
have the resources they need to learn.
Taylor and Tanner
joined our club this afternoon.
And they deserve to have an opinion.
Democracy is democracy.
It doesn't matter if they're uneducated.
- New. She means new.
- Same difference.
She means new.
We don't even know
what a research database is.
You both are going to do great.
Now, first of all,
this team needed some new faces,
and apparently a new attitude.
Second of all,
if we're gonna get anywhere this year,
you two have gotta agree
on something, anything,
or I swear
I'm gonna make the twins co-presidents.
Bennett said he raised money?
Am I to assume he went door to door?
'Cause his mother's an ATM with lipstick
who releases 50s every time she farts.
She's a very popular senator.
Julia's a state senator.
And to me, she's still the teenage robot
who lived in the library.
Hey! I live in the library.
- Yeah, you're different.
- Different how?
You're just different.
Listen, tomorrow you're gonna win
another trophy
and the Harvard application
isn't due for another week...
Four days.
Shit! Four days?
Okay, well, did you write it in?
Yes. Lona Skinner, co-president...
...of the Hemlock Prep Academy
Debate Club.
You should be proud of that.
You earned it, and you are qualified,
and you are my son.
One second, baby.
Julia Russell.
Listen, I was in D.C. last week.
I'm going to D.C. next week,
so you tell those wrinkled old bags
that I am not coming to D.C. this week,
and if they lose their shit
I will buy each of them a diaper.
As a first-generation college student,
I know the importance of higher education,
which is why I started this foundation
that hands out scholarships.
I'm hanging up on you now.
Sorry, baby.
No, it's just that
being co-presidents is ridiculous,
- because Lona is impossible to work with.
- Oh!
Forget about her and her mother.
You just need to focus
on that good-looking dude in the mirror
that's getting into Yale. Am I right?
Right? Next month,
you'll qualify for the state tournament
and Harvard will give you a full ride,
just like Hemlock did.
Because we're poor.
No. Because you're smart.
And you're a hard worker.
And you're a kick-ass debater.
And because we're poor.
I'm just glad it'll all be over soon.
I'll be at Harvard and Bennett
will be at Yale, and that will be that.
You're right.
Good luck today, sweetie.
Oh, my God. It's not about luck, Mom.
We've been through this.
This isn't a sport, where the ball drifts
in and out of play
depending upon the weather.
This is a skilled event based on research,
memorization and execution,
where I am in charge of my own destiny.
- It's not about luck.
- Obviously.
I'm gonna go jump in the coffee
and make some shower.
Ladies and gentlemen, debaters and guests
welcome to the 51st Montague Classic.
The first round will be starting
in approximately ten minutes.
- Amy!
- Senator.
Senator? Please! Come on.
You know it's Julia. How are you?
I'm really well.
My daughter is the co-president
of the Hemlock Prep Academy
Debate Club, so...
How silly was that?
Well, I'm just glad
it all worked out in the end.
Actually, I don't think it worked out.
I think Lona deserved it.
And that's what makes you
such a great mom.
We should all feel that way
about our kids, right?
No, I think the fact
that she's the school's
only three-time state qualifier
makes her the best choice.
Well, sometimes we just gotta let
the system work, don't we?
It's good to see you, uh, Amy.
Good luck to your daughter.
It's not about luck, Julia.
Hello, I'm Bennett.
- Hey, nice to meet you.
- Nice to meet you.
All right, it's time. My name is Zach.
I'm gonna be your judge
for today's debate.
As previously assigned,
Hemlock Prep is gonna be arguing
for the affirmative
and Western for the negative.
- Any questions?
- How's Princeton?
It's going great. Thanks, Lona.
How are you?
I'm just glad you're judging
and not sitting over there.
All right, you're up.
Is anyone not ready?
I affirm the costs of a college education
are outweighed by the benefits.
As of 2011, student loan debt and credit
card debt topped one trillion dollars...
In the evidence previously mentioned,
the numbers suggest that we...
That is why you must vote aff.
Is anyone not ready?
I negate that the costs of
a college education outweigh the benefits.
...has effectively become the threshold
for middle class and family income.
In 1970 almost 60%
of high school graduates, um,
were in middle school
but that number plummeted...
That's why you must vote neg.
I'm voting with the affirmative,
Hemlock Prep.
Is anyone not ready?
I negate the costs of a college education
outweigh the benefits.
One: during times of economic depression
college educations are vital.
Given the uncertain nature of the economy
a college education can function
as an insurance policy.
First, the demand for college degrees
is rising.
Getting a college education
is more important than ever.
...significant amount of gains associated
with higher lifetime earnings.
If people have more money in their pockets
they're able to spend that money...
The labor report we provided predicts
job openings will soon increase
as the Baby Boomer generation
continues to retire.
Therefore, we should encourage
college graduation
to ensure people have enough
disposable income
to contribute to national
and global economies.
A college education remains
the best option...
And that is why you must vote neg.
Ladies and gentlemen,
welcome to the awards ceremony
of the 51st Annual Classic.
These are some of the biggest statuettes
I've ever seen.
And we did that on purpose.
Okay, I have a stupid question.
- There are no stupid questions.
- Just stupid people.
Uninformed. She means uninformed.
What's your question?
Why do you talk so fast when you debate?
A few years back, they changed the rules
so we only have eight minutes per round.
And then everyone started speaking faster
to get more points.
The more arguments you make,
the more arguments your opponents
have to respond to.
But you can't understand
what you're saying.
- You can't.
- You can?
Nobody can.
Everyone emails judges and opponents
everything right before the debate.
So everyone's reading.
And that's a good tip for all of you.
When you're debating, don't get bored
by the sound of your own voice.
Be bored by the other person's voice.
Are you guys done?
Shouldn't there be one more round
of debates?
- What about the finals?
- That's a great question.
But the last two standing
are from the same school.
You can't debate against your own school.
- Stupid rule.
- So what happens then?
Co-champions, ladies and gentlemen,
from Hemlock Prep Academy,
Lona Skinner and Bennett Russell!
- Lona, congratulations.
- Thank you.
- Bennett, congratulations.
- Thank you.
Are you sure we filled out
the financial part correctly?
Well, you're going to community college
if we didn't.
It's fine. I took it to an H&R Block guy.
And that guy says you're getting in.
And he went to Brown University,
which I think
is also an Ivy League school.
It is. Brown University! Right?
It's good, Lona. It really is.
- I only have one question.
- What?
Is it all true?
I mean, in my day if I mowed one lawn,
I put down "landscape architect."
I saw one black and white movie,
the thing said "cinematic historian."
It's okay. You can tell me.
It's all true.
Right answer.
Is anything missing?
Honestly, yes.
- One thing.
- What?
My lucky stamp.
Your application
is now guidance counselor-certified
and gets my stamp of approval.
It's a tradition.
What's the success rate of your students?
One hundred percent of my students
end up at the institution
where they're meant to be.
Oh, God.
Oh, what are you worried about?
Who did your mom get to write you a letter
of recommendation to get into Yale?
- Someone who went to Harvard.
- Just someone who went to Harvard.
Barack Obama.
- Barack Obama.
- He's a family friend.
Family friend, Barack Obama.
He also used to be
President of the United States.
Yeah, I know. I voted for him.
And I went to school with him.
And I dated his brother-in-law.
That's two truths and a lie.
You pick the lie.
- So you'll mail it out for me?
- Oh, no, no.
You have to take this down
to the school mailbox
and mail it yourself.
Because when you're my age,
all your high school memories
blend in together.
Except for a very few moments.
And 50 bucks says this is one of them.
Don't worry.
- Take your time.
- Of course.
It's just, you know, Harvard.
That's a very good school.
I'm sure you'll be very competitive.
I'm going to Yale.
- Oh, that's a good one, too.
- Thank you.
Thank you.
All right.
What are you doing?
- What does it look like?
- Yeah, but you need to be getting ready.
I have plenty of time.
This is more important.
I have the regional qualifier
for the state tournament tomorrow.
It's your senior year.
One dance will not kill you.
It might.
It's Homecoming. You're going.
- You're meeting up at a friend's house?
- Yes, I have friends, Mom.
Then you'll all go together?
Mom, you won, okay?
I'm going to Homecoming.
You don't have to know every detail.
- Pick one. I'll return the rest.
- No, those are not my style.
And what is your style?
What's wrong with this?
You're not going to homecoming
dressed like an accountant.
I thought you said
I was pulling off Diane Keaton.
Did I?
Sweetie, you're a teenager.
Would it kill you to dress
like Taylor Swift for one night?
Here. Try this on. If it fits, it's yours.
Sweet Jesus.
You don't think it's too revealing?
You gotta give 'em a little taste.
You look beautiful.
You look elegant.
Is that better?
It's expensive and the money should be
going to my college fund...
Going to this.
I would take seven side jobs if I had to.
You've been the cheapest teenage daughter
a mother could have.
No jewelry.
No makeup. No pregnancies.
No jail time that I know of.
Honestly, I can't believe you're my kid.
I want this for you.
I want this for me.
You know, this is one of those
mother-daughter special moments,
don't you?
What, my inability to breathe?
Well, I think the goal is to get out
of the dress as quickly as possible.
I'm kidding.
A bird without a swing
- Watch where you're...
- Sorry.
Uh... Theater Two?
I'm just glad I'm not the only one
who still gets dressed up
to go to the movies.
I don't want to talk about it.
Do you want a ride?
I can walk.
Lona, it's...
It's cold outside.
That's a keen observation.
Well, we got the regional qualifier
tomorrow, so...
Is it tomorrow?
God, I better start preparing. Hmm.
You'll take me straight home?
Let me get a number four
with a large fry and a vanilla shake.
Do you want something?
You were supposed
to take me straight home.
I don't even understand why we're here.
- She'll have a chocolate shake.
- I'm not drinking that.
I saw a documentary
about places like this
called Fast and Furious:
On Your Intestines.
Sure, it goes down easy.
But you'll be curled over...
They said it was supposed to rain tonight.
It might.
Why are you even eating here? Hmm?
Is your personal chef on holiday?
He's vacationing in Belize.
I don't have a chef.
Well, you should,
because this crap will kill you.
I don't know how anyone could make
the conscious decision to eat here.
I'm not drinking it.
Right? Yeah?
This time, dip a fry inside.
That's disgusting.
Everything's better with fries.
I mean, sweet and salty perfection.
Try it.
No, thank you.
It's just a jacket.
Thanks for the shake.
Don't be late tomorrow.
Hi, Bennett. It's your mother.
I know you're inside,
but I know today is also the day
for the qualifiers,
so I wanted to wish you luck
because I know you are going to qualify
and be at that state tournament.
I also wanted to let you know
that in anticipation of that excitement,
I reserved us two rooms at that hotel,
the one with the waterfall.
I can't wait.
Anyway, have a great day, honey.
Oh! And before I forget,
I laid on your bed that outfit
that I think is just so damn charming.
I'm so excited. I love you!
So do you like arguing the con side
or the pro side?
It's called "aff" for affirmative
and "neg" for negative.
That's what I meant, aff or neg.
- It doesn't matter.
- No, I know, but...
That's why we have
the same debate topic all year long,
so that we get to know
both sides intimately.
But which one are you hoping
that you get to argue?
That sort of thinking
is a loser's mentality.
Totally. It was a test. Oh, shit!
I left my phone in the car.
- I'll meet you inside.
- Okay.
- Oh! Hi, Amy.
- Julia.
Baby, I'll see you inside.
Bennett tells me
Lona's applied to Harvard.
That's right.
That is incredible.
You gotta dream big, you know.
You can't listen to what the critics say.
If you want to do something, you do it.
- Bennett's applying to Yale?
- Yeah.
I mean, obviously,
I would've been happy if he went anywhere
but he just fell in love with it, so...
Like mother, like son.
Oh, did you want to get something
from your car?
I was going to grab something
but then we started talking, so...
You can get it
and then we can go in together.
No, it's no big deal.
I'm sorry? It's no big deal
and you don't need anything,
or it's no big deal
and you don't want me to wait?
I would have to look for it
and you would just be standing there
and I didn't want it to be awkward, so...
I'll see you inside, Amy.
What was that back there?
Everyone found out their first assignment.
Who they're debating, what time and where.
- Even you two?
- Yep.
- Why didn't you look at your phones?
- It's a sign of weakness.
So you guys think you're gonna win again?
At a regional qualifier,
there's no winner.
The top four contestants will move on
to the state tournament.
The costs of a college education
are outweighed by the benefits.
A college education is a strong, positive
predictor of economic mobility...
Consider why the costs of a college
education are way...
People don't learn anything
substantial in college...
In 1970, almost 60 percent
of high school graduates...
The fact that such a high number
of students need to be re-taught skills
learned in high school
prior to commencing collegiate study
demonstrates people are ending up
in college who should not be there.
Is anyone not ready?
I affirm the costs of a college
education are outweighed by the benefits.
It's always important
to scout potential opponents.
But you don't have any more debates today.
We're scouting opponents
for the state tournament.
This is his opening statement
- which is why he's being so...
- Cute?
Well, I was gonna say vague, but sure.
We do that here
and that is why you must vote aff.
Is anybody not ready?
Whether or not college is worth
the price of admissions
is not the debate
we should be having today.
Let me tell you a story.
Both of my parents have to work two jobs
to provide for my family.
And they don't have the luxury of funding
the test prep courses,
essay coaches and tutors
that many of my peers have access to
in order to get a leg up...
- Why is she talking so slow?
- Shh!
Pay attention.
...the admissions process is desirable.
Better yet, appropriate,
or even necessary,
given the significant social
and financial pressures that it places
on individual students and their families,
especially those
from low-income households
- like the one I grew up in.
- Is debating like this even allowed?
The rules state you're supposed to offer
evidence to argue aff or neg.
But the evidence you use
is, well, debatable.
I don't get it.
Okay, if I was going to argue
water is wet,
my evidence would be scientific data
that proves on Planet Earth,
throughout history, time and time again,
water has always been proven wet.
- And I would cite my references.
- Because those are facts.
And it's way more convincing
than if my evidence was water is wet
because I touched it once.
Because you can't touch the evidence.
- No. Because it's anecdotal.
- It's what?
It's what Jasmine was doing
and what she does every debate.
She talks about her personal experiences,
And she can do that?
Sure, she can do it but it's risky.
Her slow pace keeps her from being able
to make as many points.
Therefore, in order for her
to win a competition...
Which she never has.
...Jasmine would have to show
that her own personal experiences
are, for some reason,
more important than facts.
Always stick to the facts.
Jasmine's fighting a losing battle.
Maybe she doesn't care if she wins.
In just a moment, I'll be announcing
the names of our four finalists
who will go on to compete
for our state tournament this year.
But first,
we have a special guest speaker.
Ladies and gentlemen,
a few words from a debate mom
and our state senator, Julia Russell.
Thank you.
I know you've been debating the pros
and cons of higher education all day,
and so I will be brief,
since I don't want to steal the spotlight
from the kids.
Yet she's literally stealing
the spotlight from the kids.
The Yale Alumni Association helped me
get my first job practicing law.
And so I started this foundation
so that I might be able to help others
with their start.
And today, our donors
include Oprah Winfrey...
...Bono, Mark Zuckerberg.
And everyone who gets involved
always says the same thing.
Stop dropping so many names?
They say that their success
started with a work ethic
that began when they were your age.
The costs of listening to this woman
outweigh the benefits.
- As you become more involved...
- Mom, stop it.
Sorry, it seems like there is
a distraction somewhere in the audience,
which probably means
I'm taking up too much time.
My apologies, Senator.
I should've raised my hand.
My God.
I was just curious if you could give us
your definition of success.
That's a great question.
But, unfortunately, this is not a Q and A.
It's just the people you just listed
are all multi-billionaires.
So are you saying that type of wealth
is the best way to measure success?
Full disclosure, everyone,
Amy Skinner and I
are old high school friends,
and so we like to jest with one another
from time to time.
Isn't that right, Amy?
I'm just asking about success.
Oh! And I have a great idea.
Why don't you come up here
and share with everyone
your success story?
I'm sure that these students
would love to hear all about it.
I mean, forgive me, I'm not entirely clear
on all the details myself, so...
No, thanks. I wouldn't want to steal
the spotlight from the kids.
They were the reason we didn't qualify.
After Amy and Julia went at it,
the judges stopped the awards ceremony
and took five minutes to talk
before they announced the qualifiers.
It's not fair.
Have you ever considered the possibility
that sometimes you lose?
The same thing happened
in middle school. Twice.
Or sometimes you lose.
Not often.
Mr. Johnson said you have another shot
next month.
That's just for teams.
- And?
- And I don't have a partner.
Go with Lona.
You're high on chocolate right now.
When I come to work high,
you'll know it.
Ask Debbie in Accounting.
We'd kill each other.
No. There is no possible way
that I'm gonna debate alongside the guy
who in the seventh grade
ripped pages out of my biology textbook
so I couldn't do my homework.
It's a fact that he is a dick to everyone
every day all the time.
That's a line we don't cross.
The dick line.
Don't cross the dick line.
We both should've qualified
as individuals. It's not fair.
- Or sometimes you lose.
- You know what I mean.
You should've seen
how dumb some of those kids were.
I'm sure they're talented.
Talented in their own way.
One of them didn't know
the capital of New Mexico.
Oh, that's embarrassing.
- Albuquerque.
- Santa Fe.
I know.
Listen, you're the two best debaters
in the county.
Together, you could qualify for State
and that's another thing
you can send off to Harvard, right?
- You're wasting your time. We lost.
- Can you let me finish?
- The deadline passed.
- But we have the twins' slot.
- What happened to the twins?
- They dropped out.
- Of the tournament?
- Of the club.
Lona, stop.
I need this for Yale.
And you want to get into Harvard.
We already turned in our applications.
Come on, we both know
that the admissions office
will take into consideration
any honors we receive
while they're making their decisions.
- We wouldn't qualify.
- Yes, we would.
- No, you have extremely bad habits.
- You disrespect your opponents.
- You disrespect the judges.
- You have bad breath.
- You have... Stupid face!
- A stupid face.
I think you meant to say
you have a stupid face.
No, actually,
I meant to say that you're a dick.
Do you... Do you think I want this?
- I certainly don't.
- Neither do I.
Out of everyone in this school,
you're literally the last person
I want to work with.
- The very, very last.
- Thank you.
You're egocentric,
you speed through crossfire
and you refuse to flow rounds.
I flow every single one of my rounds.
And for your information,
when you speed through crossfire,
you get through more questions
and you make the other team nervous.
No, I think you're right,
we wouldn't qualify.
- You're just not good enough.
- Oh, please.
I could carry us both through qualifiers
and state championship.
- You think we'd win?
- Yeah, if you got out of my way.
- Prove it.
- I will.
So it's agreed. You'll prove me wrong,
we'll play as a team, qualify next month,
and win the state tournament.
We'll start studying after school
at my place.
I'll give the opening statement.
No, I'm gonna give the opening statement.
Bennett, the round is one
of the first five minutes.
You make too many arguments
and don't impact any of them.
So we lose the round because of that.
In addition to that...
If you did your work
for the amount of time
- you spend arguing with me...
- I'm already done.
I'm already done.
I already finished page two.
- Well, start page three.
- There is no page three.
No. No.
- No, no.
- Stop.
Excuse me.
- What?
- No.
Ask any teacher, they will tell you
that when you write something physically,
it sticks to your brain better
than when you do it on your computer.
Excuse me. Thank you.
- Condescending tone?
- Which the judges do not appreciate.
And besides,
it sets the tone for the entire round.
My judges appreciate my tone.
I have a very welcoming tone.
Okay, enough, Picasso.
I'll make these last changes
- and email them to you.
- Or I can do it.
- No, I can do it.
- I can easily do it.
Yeah, you can easily do
a lot of things, Bennett.
Look, I'll make the changes
and see you tomorrow.
We're gonna do great.
I know I've said it a thousand times,
but I really am sorry.
- It's fine, Mom.
- No, it's not.
I let Julia get under my tits,
and then I made it worse.
If I had just kept
my hilarious mouth shut,
you would've already qualified for State.
Or maybe I just lost that day.
Are you kidding me? Did you see
how stupid some of those kids were?
In their own way.
Whoa! Take it easy with that stuff.
They won't even recognize you.
Look, I'm just... I'm flustered, okay?
We have no chemistry.
We disagree in strategy,
we have opposite routines and I just...
I don't know how it's gonna work!
I just wanted to tell you
that I spoke to the debate leadership
on the county and state levels
about Amy's primal impulses
and that unfortunate altercation.
And they assured me
that I was in the right, of course,
and that you would be judged fairly.
- Whatever.
- Well... No.
This is good news, Bennett.
You are going to qualify
for the state tournament today
and you are going to win
the state tournament.
And you will go to Yale in the fall.
But first, I have to compete
in the debate tournament
with a brand new partner
whom I've hated my entire life.
We all know who's carrying this team.
Goodbye, Mom.
- Excuse me.
- Would you...?
We negate that the cost of college
education is outweighed by benefits.
We affirm the costs of a college
education are outweighed by the benefits.
That's the right height.
Look at the difference of the height.
...indicates college graduates
are more likely to earn higher salaries
pay more taxes, taxed at a higher rate...
- This is our area.
- Get it out of my area.
We're on a team. This is our area.
Without college educations, prospective
employees will be ill-equipped...
That's why you must vote neg.
Is anyone not ready?
Our high school is inferior to yours.
We'd bet you money, if we had any.
We have no fancy research databases,
no personal laptop computers.
No debate coaches with
national championships on their rsum.
No, our debate coach works at Sears
on the weekends
because he needs the money.
So the moment that timer starts,
we're already ten steps behind
and are forced to play catch-up.
Well, we don't have to worry about them.
What? Why not?
They're good, really good.
This approach rarely wins. Replacing
feelings for facts is not debate.
The judges will see through it.
- Have you ever debated against it?
- Have you?
Jania Santos. Want to hear her story?
She was top of her high school class.
Went to a fancy liberal arts school
on the East Coast
and graduated
with a BA in European History.
And guess what she's doing now?
She's working at Sears
with our debate coach!
You know, what are these colleges
really offering
if they're not offering careers?
- It's bullshit!
- It's bullshit!
All I'm saying is how do we prepare
to debate someone's personal experiences?
There's no way
to anticipate what they'll say.
No. We dismiss it as contrary
to the framework of the debate topic
and the judges will agree
that what they're saying is meaningless.
You think what they're saying
is meaningless?
I think that the facts will always win
and you do, too.
See what I told you?
Honestly, they shouldn't even
give a trophy for a qualifier.
You can have it.
You earned it. Give yourself a break.
- I don't have time for breaks.
- You're nervous, aren't you?
- About State?
- No, about getting into Harvard.
It's this Friday.
- You told them you qualified?
- Yeah, I did.
You're a four-time qualifier.
That's amazing!
Yeah, but am I gonna get in?
- You'll do great.
- You don't know that.
They'd be lucky to have you.
Look, Harvard has a five percent
acceptance rate.
That means that there's a 95 percent
chance that I don't get in.
- Maybe you're different.
- Maybe I'm not.
Maybe I'm not any different.
Maybe I'm just another robot
who spends too much time in the library.
- Is that really what you think?
- I don't know and neither do you.
You're right.
It doesn't look good.
In fact, it looks pretty shitty.
We're talking about Harvard, so the odds
are clearly stacked against you
and it's more than likely
you'll be rejected.
Is that better?
Lona, I don't have a clue
where you're gonna end up.
Not in a year.
Not ten years from now.
We don't know what's gonna happen.
Nobody does.
No matter where you go,
will you promise me something?
You're not gonna like it.
In fact, many extremely successful people
will completely disagree with me.
I don't know. I hesitate
to even bring it up. Maybe I'll just...
Where are you going with this?
When I started working here,
that wall was empty.
That bookcase was empty.
And then kids like you left.
And they got into their dream school,
or they didn't.
But all of them went on to do stuff.
Make stuff.
And so they sent me stuff.
And I'm not sure
but I think that's a life.
Wherever you end up, kiddo,
have fun.
Now. Now.
Okay, let's type in my password.
Okay, here we go.
No matter what happens,
I love you and I'm so proud of you.
Your father would be, too.
All right.
Here it is. Here it is.
I'm sorry.
I thought you were already up.
Well, he's the valedictorian of his class
and a living president
wrote his letter of recommendation.
Look, I'm not saying
that you made a mistake,
but I wouldn't be surprised if you had.
No, I'm not trying to tell you
how to run your institution,
but as an alumnus, I'm saying
I'm exceptionally disappointed
by your decision.
Well, obviously, you're forgetting
that I contributed $100,000...
- Are you out of your mind?
- Bennett.
- You're not helping.
- You know what? You're right.
Why don't we fly out there again
and have another in-person interview?
- They've made up their minds.
- No.
It's not that simple... Bennett.
Bennett, it's never that simple.
I know these people.
Sometimes you just have
to bend their arm...
No! There's no bending.
They saw the application,
and it wasn't good enough.
End of story. Sometimes you lose.
What are you...?
We still have plenty of time for me
to call my friend who owes me.
The only thing I should focus on
is that dude in the mirror, remember?
This is different.
You have to start considering a world
where I don't go to Yale.
This is your future, Bennett.
I'm gonna need you
to take it a bit more seriously.
You don't think I know that?
You know how much time
I've spent trying to get in?
How many classes I've taken?
How many nights I've gotten no sleep?
I wanted it bad. But so what?
Will I not have a future
if I don't go to Yale?
Not as bright a future.
So it's all bullshit?
You give out college scholarships
- to poor kids who can't afford it.
- Bennett.
They're not going to Yale or Harvard.
You send them to public school.
- Why do you do it if it's such a waste?
- Because they have nothing!
We give them something to hold on to.
Bennett, you come from everything.
And you expect everything!
And anything less is a disappointment.
- No.
- No. That's what you're saying.
The expectations are so high...
Yale made it possible for a girl like me
who comes from nothing
to make something of herself.
- So it's Yale or nothing?
- That's not what I'm saying.
Then what are you saying, Mom?
Yeah. That's what I thought.
Good morning.
What do you have for me?
- Here you go.
- Thanks.
Can I help you guys?
I was just waiting to see Kathy.
Yeah, me, too.
I'm sorry. Uh...
Kathy passed away.
Kathy, the guidance counselor.
The candy...
Kathy was in an accident...
after school on Friday.
...about to make the announcement
to the rest of the school.
I'm so sorry.
On the way over, I sort of thought
we were gonna see Kathy here.
I know that doesn't make any sense.
But, I mean,
it's, like, her funeral, and so...
she should be here, you know?
I felt that way about your dad's service.
You remember my dad's service?
We were six.
It was the first funeral
I had ever been to.
Yeah, mine, too.
Hey, uh...
I watched that fast food documentary.
You were right.
Eating that junk food
could seriously damage your organs.
I told you.
Yeah. Milkshakes are no good.
And fries.
Did you get in?
What did we do it for?
I mean, I don't think
we were ever really high schoolers.
Are you telling me that I dreamed up
all those classes and tests?
No, I'm saying we never...
How many football games did you go to?
I don't believe in football.
Neither do I. How about parties?
I believe in them even less.
What about goofing off in class?
Or passing stupid notes?
Or laughing at a joke so hard
that you start crying?
Is that high school to you?
I don't know.
I was too busy with...
with homework, tests and debate.
Yeah, that's high school.
Okay, if it is,
how come you don't have tons of friends?
Shut up. You don't know me.
If you're anything like me,
Kathy was the only person
you could really talk to.
What if everything we went through
will be the exact same in college?
You think so?
I'm pretty sure the Ivy League
has football games and parties,
and there's always gonna be someone
passing stupid drawings.
What's your point?
I wish I had one.
We could really use Kathy right now.
...and what makes this table so expensive
is it's made of desert ironwood
from a perennial flowering tree
of the Fabaceae family.
Desert ironwood? Are you sure?
You don't come across
desert ironwood every day, so yes.
Don't get me wrong, it's really nice
having you here on the couch,
but it's just not you.
State tournament's in a few weeks.
I'm sorry it's with Bennett...
Is there anything that you like
about Julia?
Anything at all.
Her first ever campaign slogan
was "Julia Russell is the right stuff."
Never mind.
Come on!
New Kids on the Block? That's amazing.
We ran against each other
for class president and I kicked her ass.
That's right. The cheerleader
took down the bookworm.
It was brutal, though. We were vicious.
Still bugs her.
I'll tell you a secret.
I vote for her.
She gets things done.
She was on every Top 30 Under 30 list.
And then she adopted Bennett.
And then she became a senator.
And she seems to balance it all
on her own.
She's a great mom. It's very annoying.
I'm gonna finish my show.
Leave me alone.
So, after four years
of not agreeing on anything,
the first thing you both agree on
is to not compete in the state tournament.
So you both agree for the first time
and now you're both silent
for the first time.
Since when are you two the quitting kind?
So, you didn't get
into your dream schools.
There are greater tragedies in this world.
What, were you trying to prove
to your moms that you... what?
Prove what?
Oh, you two are so full of crap.
You're five-foot nothing.
You're a hundred and nothing.
You hardly got
a speck of athletic ability.
And you hung in with the best
college football team in the land
for the past two years.
And you're both about
to walk out of here
with a degree
from the University of Notre Dame.
Mr. Johnson, what are you talking about?
Oh, come on.
Don't tell me you've never seen Rudy.
That is one of the best, most recognizable
motivational speeches in all of film.
Everybody loves Rudy.
What's your point?
If you add state champions
to your rsum next month,
that's only gonna help
your chances everywhere.
I guarantee there won't be
a week in your life that goes by
that you won't regret walking out
and letting them get the best of you.
Do you hear me clear enough?
"I rode the bench for two years.
I thought I wasn't being played
because of my color."
Is this that movie again?
I am honestly nailing it here
but I'd like to go from the beginning,
- uninterrupt...
- Just stop.
I do things by myself.
I've always done things
by myself my whole life.
I want to win so bad
that it physically hurts.
Maybe it'll help me get into school,
maybe it won't.
I just... I want to win.
What are you saying?
I'm saying that we should play football.
Then let's play.
Okay. Rudy from the top.
Mom, Bennett and I are gonna be
working in here for a while.
- Okay.
- Hi, Mrs. Skinner.
Wait, what?
- Thank you for having me, Ms. Skinner.
- Of course, Bennett.
Mom, you should put on some pants.
You could focus on aff.
I could focus on neg.
Can I get you something to eat, Bennett?
Uh, no, I'm okay.
We're okay.
Something to drink?
- We've got water, juice, soda, beer.
- Beer?
I'm fine. Thank you.
Well, I made cookies yesterday
so I'll go get some of those
and, um, some milk.
I'm sorry.
Can you please give me a second?
- What's the matter with you?
- You didn't tell me he was coming over.
- I'm allowed to bring someone over.
- But him?
The last thing we need is Julia knowing
what this place looks like.
Or my exercise regimen.
Or my lack of pants.
- He doesn't care about that stuff.
- Yeah, well, she does.
Tell him the dining room table
is desert ironwood
from the penal flowering tree
of the Fibonacci family.
- You're being ridiculous.
- No, I'm not.
Get back out there.
You don't want him to think
we're talking about him behind his back.
I'm not. You are.
Thank you.
They're my mom's recipe.
I'm sure you've had better.
No, I don't think so.
I like to let the cookie soak in there,
you know. It enriches the flavor.
You're weird.
For our guest.
Oh, thank you.
Try it.
Not... No, no, no.
Not a dip. Dunk it.
- Dunk it and hold it. Hold...
- I did dunk it.
Oh, my God.
- No. No.
- Yep.
Studying over.
- Special for you.
- Take a break. Take a break.
This is so good. What's in it?
You got milk on these.
Let's dry it off.
- Ready?
- Ready.
We affirm that the costs of a college
education are outweighed by the benefits.
Trade schools...
Trade schools are far better option...
Can you switch out the two? education system.
I'll share.
- Nice.
- I'm feeling nice today.
That is why you must vote aff.
You guys, I'm going to bed.
Bennett, if you're too tired to drive
home, feel free to crash on our couch.
I left out a, um, pillow
and a blanket for you.
Thanks, Ms. Skinner.
Don't stay up too late.
- Good night, Mom. Love you.
- Love you.
You think we're good?
I've never prepared this much evidence
for a tournament.
Me neither.
You think we can win this thing?
Me, too.
All right.
We make a good team.
- You should take these.
- I'll take...
The debate is this weekend.
Uh, um...
We should...
I should take every... Well, everything.
Bennett, I...
Tomorrow. Yeah.
- Sorry. I'm such a klutz.
- It's okay. I can do it for you.
- Just focus on the customers.
- I can do it here. I've got it.
I wasn't saying you couldn't do it.
All I was saying was...
Got it. Customers.
How can I help you?
You were really out of line
at the regional qualifier.
I mean, they just asked me to speak,
and you obviously wanted to sabotage me.
I'm sorry.
What can I get you?
Chai tea latte with milk.
- Anything else?
- Also...
Bennett has been spending
a lot of time at your house...
I know. I'm sorry about not wearing pants.
- What?
- What?
Okay, you go.
He doesn't like my desserts,
and he can't seem to stop talking
about your damn cookies.
- Really?
- Yes, really. And it is very annoying.
Well, I just thought that, um...
Is it possible to get the recipe?
Yeah. Sure.
It's not...
If you can hang for a few minutes,
I'm about to be on break.
Chai latte.
Sorry about that.
Well played.
- Everything okay? We good?
- Yep.
Okay. All right.
Shakespeare didn't write
the first Romeo and Juliet story
but he wrote the best
Romeo and Juliet story.
Take the confidants...
the friar, the nurse, you see,
things out of Shakespeare...
- Yeah.
- Okay.
You fill my ears with the songs I love
Did you get my email with the revisions?
Yeah, they're good,
but I'm making my tweaks.
I'll email them to you in the morning.
Here are the essays we were looking for
about higher education
at the turn of the century.
It's not a great argument, but...
Just in case our opponents bring it up.
I'll see you in the morning, okay?
Listen, about what happened
last night, I...
I'm supposed to hate you.
- Lona, I...
- No, my whole life I've hated you.
Not because I knew you, but because...
I thought you hated me, too.
But this other thing,
this thing where we study together
and eat cookies...
Well, I just don't think
that's what I'm good at.
- I disagree.
- Of course you disagree.
Disagreeing is what we do best.
I'll see you tomorrow, okay?
You fill my ears with the songs I love
Hey. Hey.
I think it's time for bed.
What time is it?
It's late. I texted you,
but your phone was off.
Oh, my gosh.
Where did you get these?
I made them.
At that French bakery you love?
No. I made them.
- You ordered them online?
- No, I made them, okay?
Just... don't go in the kitchen.
It's a mess.
Thank you.
You're welcome.
...affirm the costs
of college education...
[girl 1 ...are outweighed by the benefits.
College graduates earn more
over their lifetime...
Those with a college education
fare better than high school graduates...
While our opponents
will try to argue future innovations
in the system should be encompassed...
Who is helping me? Who is helping us?
Where is the priority
of getting low income...? national and global economies.
That is why you must vote neg.
All right.
Is anyone not ready?
- We negate the costs...
- We affirm the costs...
...of a college education
outweigh the benefits.
- That is why must vote neg.
- That is why you must vote aff.
In a two-to-one decision,
from Hemlock Prep Academy,
Lona Skinner and Bennett Russell.
Good evening, everyone.
Welcome to the final debate.
Who will be named
the best team in the state?
You're about to find out.
First, from Hemlock Prep Academy,
Bennett Russell and Lona Skinner.
And from Washington High,
Jasmine Spencer and Dana Martinez.
Good luck to you both.
And now, let's begin.
Is anybody not ready?
Do you know what I did this morning?
I pinched myself.
I know, right?
It's a clich, but I thought I was
dreaming. We shouldn't be up here.
Take a look around the room,
and then look at us.
We shouldn't be here.
No, we deserve it,
but we shouldn't be here
because we should be working.
The truth is we can't afford to be here
and we don't want to be here.
I mean, honestly,
do any of you really want to be here?
Do you actually enjoy giving up
your Saturdays to debate public policy?
Hell, no.
But since you were born into privilege,
you're expected to, right?
That's just messed up,
both for you and me.
So, what do we affirm?
Our aff is that this process, no,
this business of college admissions
outweighs the benefits.
And it is so overbearing
that it's turning young people
into robots,
forcing us to make critical decisions
about our future at the age of 16.
Are you kidding me?
I mean, just think about it.
I can't vote or drink,
and yet my entire adult life
is dependent upon my GPA,
AP courses, and community service?
You know our story by now.
You know that our families
actually need the money.
You're asking me if college is worth it.
The better question is,
"Who is helping me? Who is helping us?"
Where is the priority of getting
low-income students through high school?
- Because we don't see it.
- We don't see it.
Hey, Bennett,
can I have the notes, please?
Is anyone not ready?
Bennett and I negate
the costs of a college education
outweigh the benefits.
Our first contention is that
our opponents, in their opening statement,
have shown complete disregard
for the topic, and thus, the frame...
the framework in which we debate.
Their blatant disrespect...
You know what?
Jasmine and Dana are right.
We are robots.
Let me tell you a story.
Getting into college sucks.
Well, I shouldn't say that
because I haven't gotten in yet.
But I've spent the last 18 years
researching, writing, and debating
both sides of every argument.
I can speak at 400 words per minute
and cram as many facts as humanly possible
into each round
before that buzzer goes off.
I did everything I thought
I needed to do, and...
what happened?
It resulted in a big fat rejection letter.
Facts over feelings, right?
Is that a good idea?
I'm at a loss.
I am.
Because maybe I will be a politician
or a lawyer someday
and these Saturdays
will have provided me
with some skill set that I could not
attain anywhere else, but...
what if I'm unable to...
What if I'm unable
to form a human connection?
Raise your hand
if you can articulate the arguments
that Lona and I have been arguing today.
Now raise your hand if you can understand
what Jasmine and Dana have been saying.
They've been doing this all year,
just like us.
But they're nothing like us.
Because they didn't choose to focus
on the pressure to win that we did.
Instead they chose
something more important,
Next year scares the shit out of me.
I don't know where I'll end up,
or what I'm going to do,
or what I'll become.
But as of right now...
I'm happy to be here.
And maybe it was all worth it,
just to see you two come in here
and free the robots.
So that we would stop
talking at each other,
and start talking to each other.
Thank you, everyone. This is it.
In a 2-1 decision,
your state champions,
from Washington High,
Jasmine Spencer and Dana Martinez.
Sometimes we lose.
Ladies and gentlemen,
welcome to Debate Club.
The first rule of Debate Club is,
you do not talk about Debate Club.
The second rule of Debate Club is,
you do not talk about Debate Club.
The third rule is,
if someone yells "stop",
goes limp, or tags out,
the debate is over.
- Brad Pitt.
- In Fight Club.
Thank you, Taylor and Tanner.
Once more from the top.
The first rule of Debate Club is,
you do not talk about Debate Club.
I can feel you watching me, Mom.
Sorry for being excited for you.
- It's just another dance.
- It's your last dance.
It's prom.
I know you've been all grown up
ever since I gave birth to you,
but I hate to tell you this,
life after high school
is just a series of disappointments.
You always know just what to say.
'Cause I love you.
I love you, too.
Now let me finish getting ready, please.
The day has arrived
Fresh off the ironing board.
Oh, my gosh. Let me take a look at you.
Take pictures, okay?
- For you or your campaign?
- Hey.
Very funny. For you.
This is one of those life moments, right?
You're going to college for four years,
and two years of law school,
and then you're gonna be working
14-hour days in your 20s,
so you really just got...
You want me to call a limo?
- Then you can have a driver.
- No.
- You could stay out all night.
- I don't need a limo.
I have a car that works.
I know.
I'll be home by midnight.
One o'clock is fine.
Here you go.
And congratulations.
You look good in red.
- It's crimson.
- Oh, shut up.
Congratulations to you.
I always thought
you were a bit of a Bulldog.
I didn't even know what their mascot was.
You're gonna go
to so many football games.
And so many parties.
Nah, not really.
One popcorn, one soda.
And during this evening's performance
will you be enjoying some candy?
Yes. We will have
some Reese's Pieces, please.
- And Milk Duds.
- And Whoppers.
- And let me get a KitKat.
- And Twizzlers.
- Let me get the Good and Plenty.
- And some Jolly Ranchers as well.
And that Mr. Goodbar.
Wait for it.
No. I am not eating
out of that sweaty hat
that's been on your sweaty head.
My head is not sweaty.
Your head is sweaty, and so is your hat.
- And now our candy is contaminated.
- Contaminated?
at least on a microscopic level.
So by that rationale
we should never hold hands.
You don't want that.
No. You don't want that.
Look at him.
Look at that smug look on his smug face.
He thinks that we're a couple.
He thinks we have a thing going.
He has no sense that in just a few months
we'll go our separate ways,
probably lose contact,
gain the freshman 15,
and jump head first back into studying.
He thinks I actually like him.
Don't you, Bennett Russell?
You think I like you?
Well, damn it.
You might be right.
- Mm?
- Mm-hm.
- Yeah, I know. It's awesome.
- You want some?
I actually do want some.
Shut up.