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Billy Madison (1995)

DVD Cover (Universal)
Genres:
Comedy, Farce, Gross-Out Comedy
Director:
Tamra Davis Tamra Davis
Starring:
Adam Sandler Adam Sandler
Darren McGavin Darren McGavin
Bridgette Wilson-Sampras Bridgette Wilson-Sampras
Bradley Whitford Bradley Whitford
Josh Mostel Josh Mostel

6.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Nirrad
Added: March 02, 2008
If you were to ask me to name one person that has had a long string of successful and memorable movies, I would give you the name Adam Sandler. Love him or hate him, he has made movies that people love and quote all the time. What really surprised me was his transition to more serious roles. Movies like Punch-Drunk Love and Reign Over Me proved that he is more versatile than many of us believed. But we're going to focus on the old school comedian Adam Sandler from the mid nineties.

After leaving Saturday Night Live, it was only time until he started to focus on his movie career, and he wasted no time jumping into that department. During the same year he finished up with SNL, he released a movie called Billy Madison. The movie of course is centered around the troubled "child" of a millionaire whose family owns a chain of hotels across the country. Billy (Adam Sandler) takes this for granted, and does nothing with his life other than sit by the pool with his friends and get drunk until they pass out. Unfortunately for Billy, his father Brian Madison (Darren McGavin) decides that Billy is not responsible to inherit the family fortune and take over the company. Outraged by the news Billy comes up with a plan to work his way through grades 1-12 within a few months to prove that he is not an idiot and take over the company. His Father agrees, and Billy is off to school. During his journey through elementary school, a young 3rd grade teacher Veronica (Bridgette Wilson) catches the attention of Billy. He then tries his hardest to win over her heart no matter how many times she turns him down and calls him an idiot. During this whole process, one of Billy's father's right hand men Eric (Bradley Whitford) wants Billy to fail so that he can take the company over instead. So in order to make him fail, he tries to sabotage Billy's plan and even eventually compete with him in the end. Will Billy pass all the grades and inherit the company? Or will Eric come out as the superior victor. Well by now, I think you know what the end result is.

This was the beginning of Sandler's run of comedic films, and considered one of Adam's best and funniest movies to date. I'm with the ones who think it is one of his best. The film itself is no masterpiece, but goddamn is it funny. Here we get the Adam Sandler that many of us love. He's vulgar, and the movie has many scenes that are totally random and make no sense, but in a good way ala Family Guy. A lot of the scenes were improvised, and you can definitely tell in some scenes, and I personally love it when actors do that. The scenes between Billy and Veronica are really interesting, and in some cases just down right hilarious. Not to mention that Bridgette is extremely hot in this movie.

Bradley even gives a hilarious performance by just the way he talks and his overall presence. My hat goes off to any actor who can possibly embarrass themselves in such a film, even stooping as low as making faces at a dinner table like we all did when we were kids. Oh, and I can't forget the late, great Chris Farley as the psychotic bus driver. Everything this man says in all of his scenes is just hilarious and completely steals the show whenever he's on screen. He will me missed.

Not everything is perfect in Billy Madison though. Some scenes are just downright stupid, or very boring and tedious. An example of this would be the beginning when he's chasing the imaginary penguin around the yard trying to catch him. They could have done without that, because every time I watched it I cringe. There's even a musical number about halfway through the film that some people might find funny, but I just can't accept it.

This is considered a classic by many people, along with Happy Gilmore. This is the Adam Sandler that love and miss. As I said before, it's one of his funniest movies and you owe it to yourself to at least check it out whether by rental or on TV. I personally wish he would at least make a few more films like this one before the end of his career.

8/10.
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bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 03/03/2008, 12:14 AM
If you were to ask me to name one person that has had a long string of successful and memorable movies, I would give you the name Adam Sandler.

Then that is sad for you. I would give you the names...Peter Sellers...Jimmy Stewart...James Cagney...Al Pacino...Robert DeNiro...Paul Newman...Robert Redford...Marlon Brando...Jack Nicholson...Daniel Day Lewis...Tom Wilkinson...I could go on and on and on...

ADAM SANDLER? That might be the most ridiculous statement of 2008, hands down.
Luminaire #2: Luminaire - added 03/03/2008, 12:18 AM
Your writing skills are at a 5th grade level.
Luminaire #3: Luminaire - added 03/03/2008, 12:22 AM
Someone needs to revoke his ability to write reviews for saying something like that.
Nirrad #4: Nirrad - added 03/03/2008, 12:48 AM
OK, it may not be the first name that I would choose. But I do like the lineup he had after this movie. I liked Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy...etc. I would have to agree that the actors you mentioned do have a better string of movies. Just ignore the first paragraph then.
Edd #5: Edd - added 03/03/2008, 09:49 AM
I award you no points, and may god have mercy on your soul.
bluemeanie #6: bluemeanie - added 03/03/2008, 10:58 AM
Yeah...his string of films after BILLY MADISON was quite impressive...I would call it the 'Greatest String of Films Any Actor Has Given'. Let's not forget the glory of films such as "The Waterboy", "Bullet Proof" and "Little Nicky". Shit, you probably think "Going Overboard" is a masterpiece.
Nirrad #7: Nirrad - added 03/03/2008, 12:16 PM
Never seen Going Overboard, and never will. Swing and a miss.
Tristan #8: Tristan - added 03/03/2008, 12:20 PM
Meanie, he just said that Adam Sandler had a string of successful films. He didn't say he was the best actor ever. You just listed the greatest actors of the last century, and expect that to make a point? Like them or not, Sandler's movies are very successful. I don't know one person who hasn't seen pretty much everything he's done. If you were a teenager in the 90's, you watched Adam Sandler movies. I'm not saying they're great, but they were entertaining. So your little list of actors was about as pointless as this whole conversation. At least Edd's got the right idea.
bluemeanie #9: bluemeanie - added 03/03/2008, 12:28 PM
Meanie, he just said that Adam Sandler had a string of successful films. He didn't say he was the best actor ever. You just listed the greatest actors of the last century, and expect that to make a point? Like them or not, Sandler's movies are very successful. I don't know one person who hasn't seen pretty much everything he's done. If you were a teenager in the 90's, you watched Adam Sandler movies. I'm not saying they're great, but they were entertaining. So your little list of actors was about as pointless as this whole conversation. At least Edd's got the right idea.

No...he said that when he thinks of an actor with a string of successful films, Adam Sandler is the one he thinks of. I find it laughable that, out of all the actors out there (many of which I named), the one that comes to mind is Adam Sandler. I grew up in the 90's and I didn't watch every Adam Sandler film. I hated them with a passion. So, that disproves that whole little point of yours. So, are you saying that if someone were to ask you to name an actor with a list of successful and memorable films, you would name ADAM SANDLER? Really?
bluemeanie #10: bluemeanie - added 03/03/2008, 12:29 PM
And let's not forget that this quote of his was made on the review for BILLY MADISON -- one of Sandler's absolute WORST films.
Nirrad #11: Nirrad - added 03/03/2008, 12:32 PM
Jesus Christ. Don't take it literally. I would give you that name just for this occasion because it's s review for an Adam Sandler movie. But yes, his movies were successful in the box office. So you're getting nowhere, and relax on the flaming bullshit.
Nirrad #12: Nirrad - added 03/03/2008, 12:33 PM
One of his worse films? It's not the best by any means. But nearly everyone I talked to has said "His earlier stuff is better". Thats not including his more serious roles.
Tristan #13: Tristan - added 03/03/2008, 12:35 PM
If someone asked me who a successful actor was, the first name that jumped to mind wouldn't be Adam Sandler. For the purpose of this review however, Darrin pointing out that Adam Sandler was successful was 100% accurate, and completely called for.
bluemeanie #14: bluemeanie - added 03/03/2008, 12:48 PM
You, sir, are ass end wrong...because not just 'successful' was used, but the word 'memorable'...

If you were to ask me to name one person that has had a long string of successful and memorable movies, I would give you the name Adam Sandler.

Both SUCCESSFUL and MEMORABLE. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.
bluemeanie #15: bluemeanie - added 03/03/2008, 12:49 PM
This is considered a classic by many people

THAT IS AN EVEN FUNNIER PIECE OF THE REVIEW!!!
Nirrad #16: Nirrad - added 03/03/2008, 12:51 PM
Well I find them worth being remembered, and you clearly remember them. So I would say that the opening is correct.
Nirrad #17: Nirrad - added 03/03/2008, 12:53 PM
Noe when you think of classic, are you comparing it to films like Godfather, Jaws or even Citizen Kane? Because when I used classic, I'm not comparing it to those films. It's one of Sandlers calssic films. and I would like to say again, people have mentioned this. You're digging too deep into this man.
Ramone #18: Ramone - added 03/03/2008, 01:18 PM
Sometimes its better to take the high road my friends. Too many cooks spoil the broth. L
Tristan #19: Tristan - added 03/03/2008, 01:21 PM
Shut up, you old queen. LB LB
Mr. Mistoffelees #20: Mr. Mistoffelees - added 03/03/2008, 04:37 PM
I have to be honest, aside from Chris Farley and a couple of specific scenes I didn't find this movie to be that funny. I kind of cringe whenever he makes that stupid face in the scene with the penguin, and overall his early work reminds me of Jim Carrey's: when he doesn't try so hard he's much funnier. For Carrey this is evident in Ace Ventura, I feel that he is much better not overacting or being too grandiose with his actions or script.
Crispy #21: Crispy - added 03/03/2008, 05:58 PM
Carrey sucks. Sandler sucks. He got lucky twice with Gilmore and Wedding Singer, but even those were iffy at times.
Edd #22: Edd - added 03/04/2008, 11:27 AM
I've always said that Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore were the greatest of his films. Everything else is sub-par.
bluemeanie #23: bluemeanie - added 03/04/2008, 12:26 PM
I wish I were digging too deep. I wish I were.
Lucid Dreams #24: Lucid Dreams - added 11/22/2010, 03:21 AM
Some what of a guilty pleasure. 6/10
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