Posted on 6/23/12 02:29 PM
Throughout his movie career, Adam Sandler has been treated by critics like a bad batch of cookies made by a great grandmother. They may be hard to swallow sometimes but the person who made them is very charming, so you choke the baked goods down anyway. The bottom line is that Adam Sandler may have critically despised comedies, but the guy still retains the charisma that made the world fall in love with him during his Saturday Night Live days. Despite Sandler's critical onslaughts like Jack and Jill, You Don't Mess with the Zohan and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, it seems that every critic, and even the most cynical of film fan, has at least one Adam Sandler movie that is near and dear to their inner immature third grader. One great nomination for this place in a viewer's heart is Sandler's first starring film role from 1995, Billy Madison.Made in a time where Sandler's stock of likeability made it appear his cookies couldn't even be burnt around the edges,
Billy Madison is Sandler's funniest comedy to date. As any critic should warn the reader in a review of this film, Billy Madison is dumb. Extremely dumb, so dumb that the premise itself would have made Shakespeare slit his own throat from narrative related shame. But nonetheless Billy Madison proves to be an enduring comedic feature that showcases Sandler in top farcical form; playing an oddly accented man child whose persona amasses just as many dumb jokes as it does a more subtle sentimental side.With a screenplay written Sandler himself and a couple of frequent writing partners,
Billy Madison unravels the turbulent tale of the titular Billy (Adam Sandler). Appearing first frame as a schulby, obnoxious waste of human life proclaiming his love of sun tan lotion through the majesty of song, Billy is the paramount example of the spoiled prick down the street who doesn't deserve his countless opportunities. But even though Sandler has proven in his later career potential to accrue haters from his annoying gags, Billy, though annoying, also has been infused with Sandler's then unexhausted mid-90s charisma making him a more than bearable character to spend the next 90 minutes with.
The story begins to kick in (after Billy's hallucinatory chase for an abnormally sized penguin subsides) once Billy's father (Darren McGavin) announces his retirement and his intent to transfer leadership of his wealthy hotel dynasty to weasely corporate douchebag Eric (Bradley Whitford). Appalled by his father's lack of faith in his very hidden, in fact seemingly nonexistent, ability, Billy proposes that he should take over the company; as long as he completes grades 1-12 over again without the aid of his father's bribes. This turn of events in Billy's life leads to higher learning, lowest humor and some haphazardly unexpected results.
Billy Madison not only has a cavalcade of quotable lines, but also contains some truly great comedic performances from Sandler and Whitford. There are also some terrifically deranged cameos from Chris Farley and Steve Buscemi. There are many, many moments in Billy Madison that should make any viewer with an inch of a funny bone laugh out loud whether it's during a moment of unbridled stupidity of purely inspired comedic gold, Sandler's best full-on comedy is a timeless guilty pleasure.
Reviewed by Ben Pieper on June 19th 2012