Billy Madison (1995)

In my house, my wife has a list of movies she vows to never watch again. Just recently, that list grew by one. Billy Madison joins a shortlist of films that includes Wicker Park and Tommy Boy. If I was lucky enough, she would be open to watching Tommy Boy again, however, would go to great lengths to never watch the other two also. 

She has a valid point with… Billy Madison. However, I will stand by my suggestion because everyone should see this comedy at least once in their lives. It is a young Adam Sandler, who was still working out the kinks of being a comedy star. 

He was famous on Saturday Night Live for various impersonations, some he still performs to this day. In Billy Madison, Sandler acts like he is age five one minute, 25 the next, and 17 most of the time. One can’t blame him, since he is the son of a rich dad who owns a hotel chain. 

Most of the movie seems stupid and impossible, because, well, it is. No mid 20 years old would ever get a chance to relive grades 1-12 again, no matter who their father was. The only thing you can say about the story is it is pretty creative; there’s no denying that. The negative part, though, is the story arc was there; they just jammed it fill with pointless and useless jokes that it ruined something that could have been so much better. 

Another drawback is the character played by Bradley Whitford. Many know him as the guy from The West Wing and other drama movies like Get Out. I remember his role in Revenge of the Nerds, but it is so hard to watch someone of his talent sink this low for a paycheck. I get the whole weasel angle, but the ending never really worked with what they were telling. 

There is a lot to take in with this film. I fully understand why my wife hated the movie and would never watch it again. I barely watch it as it is, however every once in a blue moon, I feel like throwing it on to see if Billy Madison will graduate high school this time or not. 4/10


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