14/31: Candyman: The David Klein Story
"In life, you only have to be a genius for 15 seconds."
Despite that promising quotation towards the beginning of Candyman: The David Klein Story, and the intermittent presence of Weird Al Yankovic, the documentary is slight, even at a modest hour and 16 minutes. The story it's telling is a worthwhile enough cautionary tale about what can happen to an inventor whose blood isn't quite cold enough to swim with the sharks of etc. etc., but it's also a fairly short story. David Klein invented the Jelly Belly; David Klein failed to avail himself of decent legal advice, or to call the bluff of the large company that wanted his trademark; David Klein got forced out before Ronald Reagan could make him a gazillionaire; end.
A mildly diverting time capsule in the first third, the narrative is muffled after that by interviews that tend to ramble. It's fine that the subjects don't generally give good sound-bite, and if that's the source pool, that's the source pool, but tighter editing would have toned up the pace a bit.
Tighter editing would also have slimmed it down to an hour, and I assume the director wanted or contracted for a feature, but it would have worked better as an hour-long Independent Lens episode. There just isn't enough there. I got more out of reading the Wikipedia entry (love the name "Belly Flops" for flavors they don't make anymore).
As a Revolting Snacks history lesson, though, it's pretty amazing. Klein also invented the snot candy that came packaged in a plastic nose, and his daughter is the brains behind Sandy Candy. A good story as a short; a bit of a snooze as a feature.
Tags: 31 Days 31 Films Candyman: The David Klein Story David Klein documentaries movies Weird Al Yankovic