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Billy Madison (1995)

June 22, 2010


VERDICT:
8/10 Snack Packs

Barely edges out Happy Gilmore as Sandler’s best contribution to society since “The Chanukkah Song”.

Billy Madison is about a twenty-something man child who has to graduate from first through twelfth grade in one-week intervals in order to take over his father’s wealthy company before  a real weaselly scumbag businessman beats him to the punch. Along the way he falls for his third grade teacher who initially hates him, but then he pretends to wet himself and she can no longer resist him. 

Yeah, this is a really freakin’ stupid movie, but just go with it.

Ya’ see, kiddies, long before Click, Zohan, Chuck & Larry, The Longest Yard, 50 First Dates, Eight Crazy Nights, Mr. Deeds and Little Nicky, there was good old Billy Madison, and oh how sweet it was. It was the year 1995, it was a funnier time, it was the days when people used to actually watch Saturday Night Live instead of relying on Betty White and Lazy Sundays to balance out the crickets, and it was the first time a youngin’ from New Hampshire named Adam Sandler made his big time movie debut (not counting Mixed Nuts).

And as if it even warrants mentioning, Sandler did alright for himself from that point on, and for good reason, too.

With the exception of all his gibberish talk at the beginning and the whole “Do you have any more gum?” line when everyone breaks into song, Sandler makes people laugh because he not only plays a damn good idiot, but he knows how to write like an idiot, and I mean that in the best way possible. Along with SNL co-writer Tim Herlihy, the funniest gags and situations can more or less be broken down to the “random” category, and since I can be a huge fan of random when it’s closer to Monty Python and further from Family Guy, I thoroughly enjoy what this movie has to offer.

Whether it’s Chris Farley and Norm MacDonald stealing and eating thirty kids’ lunches, Bradley Whitford being engulfed in flames during a pie cooking competition (only to show up magically unscathed in the next scene) or how James Downey keeps on talking about his tramp of a wife in the middle of an academic decathlon, it’s all hilarious and there’s a lot of it to go around.

Apparently it doesn’t hurt to write a script while both high and drunk.

Look, there isn’t really a whole lot to analyze with Billy Madison, because it’s kinda hard to convey the humor that goes along with old women saying that they’re cooler than Miles Davis because they piss their pants, but if that right there just made you chuckle, there you go, you’re on the level. But there’s also a great Steve Buscemi cameo, but he’s arguably the strangest aspect of the whole movie.

Billy Madison is unbelievably juvenile and it might not be your thing if you don’t find 69 jokes funny anymore, but it always cracks me up, I still quote it far more than I probably should and it’s one of the best and most bittersweet reminders of how funny Sandler can be. I have gone through the occasional phase where this has just been too dumb for me to handle, but I really don’t know what I was thinking, I’m all better now. 

What can I say, I grew up on it and so did all my friends. We’re a silly lot.

Does help to watch with alcohol though.

“That’ll end your PRECIOUS field trip pretty damn quick!” So good.

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33 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2010 12:11 am

    Hahah, just a great cult classic, that almost never gets old, no matter how stupid it gets. Nice Review brah!

  2. June 22, 2010 1:39 am

    Stop looking at me swan.

    • June 22, 2010 8:08 am

      Congrats on beating everyone to the punch.

      “I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

      • June 22, 2010 1:44 pm

        That had me in stitches for about ten minutes.

      • June 22, 2010 1:50 pm

        Hahaha, probably my favorite scene of the movie.

  3. June 22, 2010 5:15 am

    Good review – people should check this out to see what Sandler’s humour was at its most raw and un-Hollywoodized. I think I prefer Happy Gilmour from his early stuff but this is great fun and Mrs Pete Sampras is an eye-catching teacher (wish I had had her when I was six!)

    …it’s also great to see Chris Farley in a small but nonetheless outrageous role. He made too few movies in his short career.

    • June 22, 2010 8:13 am

      Happy Gilmore is very close, only thing is that nine times out of ten when you turn on the TV over here, you’ll probably land on the Bob Barker fight. Too syndicated for its own good, but it’s definitely his most inspired movie with the most memorable scenes. But your right on, Billy Madison’s all about raw, un-Hollywoodized Sandler, and that’s when he was best.

      And how about Mrs. Sampras! You said it, man.

      And those faces Farley makes after yelling at the kids in that clip make me howl every freakin’ time. What a funny guy.

  4. June 22, 2010 11:06 am

    If only this flick had come out in the 2000s, when the R-rated comedies had come back in style. Instead, we have to suffer through PG-13 (or rather, PG) versions of scenes, and yes, I’m thinking specifically of the “learning in the tent” scene with Mrs. Sampras. Dios mio. Then again, that might’ve meant naked maid, and that’s not good for anyone.

    Anyway, no need to apologize for this too much to me, Aiden. I’m right there with you – it might not be brilliant, but if it’s on, I’m watching (again). Penguin, Buscemi and, of course, Downey are the highlights here.

  5. mcarteratthemovies permalink
    June 22, 2010 11:37 am

    I prefer “Waterboy” to “Billy Madison.” If I have to watch a dumb Adam Sandler comedy, I want Kathy Bates to be in it, is all I’m sayin’.

    • June 22, 2010 11:38 am

      Won’t argue with that. Been meaning to watch that again for a long time now. Good memories from my days as a fart-joke-loving youth.

  6. June 22, 2010 11:39 am

    I want to see 90’s Digital Shorts by Adam Sandler at the top of his game. That’d be legendary.

    • June 22, 2010 11:42 am

      Jesus Christ, I hope someone from SNL reads that comment. Man, Sandler really has fallen pretty far from the tree.

      • June 23, 2010 4:10 pm

        SNL has hit harder times as well. With the exception of Jon Hamm and Betty White this year has been rough.

  7. June 22, 2010 12:47 pm

    Good timing to go with the tournament! I will link to this in the second (if it makes it to the 2nd round, I can’t remember)

  8. June 24, 2010 5:52 pm

    My favourite Adam Sandler movie is Punch Drunk Love. Funny, bittersweet and awkward.

    • June 24, 2010 6:07 pm

      I agree. The warehouse scene is something that only Adam Sandler could pull off and make it funny.

      • June 24, 2010 10:59 pm

        You talking about the scene at the end with the mattress man?

      • June 28, 2010 1:47 pm

        No, the one towards the beginning where he’s got a phone call from the mattress man (or his phone sexer), there’s cargo falling all over the place, emma watson is trying to grab his attention and luis guzman needs a signature or something.

    • June 24, 2010 10:58 pm

      I loved him in that movie and I love that movie in general. Easily the highlight of his acting career.

    • Marc permalink
      June 25, 2010 12:00 pm

      Agreed Ronan. I wasn’t sure what to expect from him but I was thoroughly impressed with his performance. Nice to see a change in his game…even if, as Aiden says was “the highlight of his acting career”.

      • June 28, 2010 8:02 am

        Just loved his character development in how he goes from that shy, weird bastard to wrench-toting badass, and he does it all for love. Also love the few scenes where he flips out beforehand where he kicks in the glass windows and trashes the restaurant bathroom. Don’t we all have those moments where we just wanna explode? God, I need to see that movie again.

  9. June 26, 2010 12:38 pm

    What day is it?

    October

    Best line ever and one of my favorite movies in the universe. The end.

    • June 26, 2010 12:54 pm

      Reminds me of an awesome line from Half Baked:

      Hey, what day is it?

      Saturday.

      Is it January?

      Nah man its August

      Oh wow, August.

    • June 28, 2010 8:18 am

      The one obscure quote I absolutely love from this is when Norm MacDonald and that other guy are sitting by the pool sleeping when Norm wakes up and goes:

      “Hey, Billy. I just had the craziest dream…Hey, where’s Billy?”
      “He’s in school, man.”
      “Hohoohoho yeah!”

      I don’t know, just the way he says that last bit kills me. Where the hell did Norm MacDonald go?

  10. June 27, 2010 11:13 pm

    Picking a favorite Adam Sandler movie to me is a lot picking a favorite Will Ferrell movie… can’t I just pick being stabbed in the eye ball repeatedly instead?

    But I do enjoy Billy Madison, because I feel like its not embracing the nonsense as much as it makes fun of … well, an Adam Sandler movie character in a way.

    • June 28, 2010 8:24 am

      hahaha, at least you like this one. Sandler and Ferrell’s careers have been pretty sad as of late, huh? The thing I like most about Billy is that it doesn’t take itself seriously whatsoever and, like you said, it just feels like it’s making fun of itself the whole time. Man, that sounds a pretty hifalutin explanation for a movie like this. Can that be stricken from the record?

      • June 29, 2010 11:04 pm

        Even the bad movies or not so serious movies need to be taken seriously I think. That doesn’t mean we have to rip them apart, but at least look into why they are the way they are.

  11. Dang Son permalink
    October 3, 2011 11:43 pm

    I drew the duck blue because i’ve never seen a blue duck beore and, to be honest, I wanted to see a blue duck. Great fucking movie

    • October 7, 2011 2:32 pm

      Hahaha. Love that line and totally agree. What the hell happened to Adam Sandler?

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