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Billy Madison
1995 - PG-13 - 89 Mins.
Director: Tamra Davis
Producer: Robert Simonds
Written By: Tim Herlihy, Adam Sandler, Rich Wilkes
Starring: Adam Sandler, Darren McGavin, Bradley Whitford, Josh Mostel, Bridgette Wilson, Norm MacDonald, Chris Farley, Steve Buscemi
Review by: John Ulmer
   
To inherit his family's fortune, Billy is going back to school... Way back.

Adam Sandler plays Billy Madison, the son of a wealthy businessman, who is about to hand over the reigns of his company to a greedy businessman. So, in a last effort to have the company handed to himself, Billy enters a bet, that if he can make it all the way through school over again, the company is his. But he cannot flunk school this time around.

We can expect what ensues.

Basically, the film has a decent premise. It may be thrown together a bit sloppy at times, but overall it is good. The thing that is bad about this movie, is the characters, the dialogue, and the film's progress.

There are some laughs in the beginning, but I didn't find the addition of Norm MacDonald very funny, nor did I think it great how the teacher who hates Billy is suddenly, for no reason whatsoever, willing to take off her clothes for him.

There are some great cameos in this movie, especially the always-enjoyable Steve Buscemi. Unfortunately, his short appearance cannot make up for the bad flow, dialogue and character progression in Billy Madison.

Sure, the film has its laugh-out-loud moments, but not enough, and when it all comes down to it, the film has a half-baked, sentimental ending thrown in to enthuse the easily-pleased, and never really focuses on all the laughs it could have achieved throughout its scenes. It seems to take the lowest amount of jokes considering, and look at them as "look how many jokes we have," instead of "look how many more jokes we could have had."

In the end, what could have been an interesting and lively comedy resorts to typical Sandler fare, and nothing more.

My summary: worth seeing, but not great.
 
Movie Guru Rating
Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable. Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable. Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable.
  2.5 out of 5 stars

 
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