TBT: Billy Madison (1995)

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As I watch my viewership for this feature steadily decline this month, I fearlessly and somewhat defiantly plod onwards with the Adam Sandler theme for May. So, yes. It’s basically more of the same silliness this week. Same guy. Same copious amounts of bullshitting around in front of a camera (and getting paid for it). Same review format. We’re. . .or rather, I am going to extract five more profound life lessons from the noble, the poetic, the damn-near Confuscian writings of Sandler. Prepare yourselves for another day of enlightenment here on TBT

Today’s food for thought: Billy Madison

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Release: February 10, 1995

[DVD]

Just in case you are wondering: no, I will not make out with you.

You need to get that out of your head right now. We live in a society with rules for a reason. One does not simply go around making out with everyone they see in sight; that’s just not. . . you know, that’s just not how it works. Unfortunately, the entire planet can’t operate like one collective Hedonistic resort like Sandler’s Billy Madison thinks it might. At least, this would best explain his actions after he awkwardly put one of his female classmates on the spot by loudly declaring to the rest of the science lab that he wouldn’t demonstrate public displays of affection during class. A female classmate that’s about half his age. A female classmate that doesn’t want a thing to do with him.

I suppose that’s understandable. He was, after all, a spoilt-rotten child stuck in a grown man’s body, this Billy Madison guy. And when it comes to intelligence, he’s not entirely with the program. Although, he did enroll in “a program” of sorts, as part of a deal with his father. In order for Billy to have any shot at all of his father handing the reigns of his Fortune 500 company, Madison Hotels, over to him, Billy must return to school — early grade school, that is — and complete his education all the way through to senior year in high school to prove that he was competent enough to manage the hotel chain. Mr. Madison (Darren McGavin) admitted to Billy that he had to bribe all of his teachers to allow him to ‘pass’ when he was going through school for the first time. Thus, the ridiculously un-adjusted manchild played by a young and unruly Adam Sandler.

The challenge also meant having to de-throne the current successor to his father, a sniveling weasel named Eric Gordon (Bradley Whitford) in a climactic battle of wits in a winner-take-all final competition, yet another quasi-condition of Billy’s graduation process. Given how Eric hated Billy with a passion, and that he also had a deep-seated dislike of the owner of the company himself, the day would prove to be quite the hurdle. Other obstacles presented themselves conveniently for Billy as he found himself struggling to catch up on everything he didn’t learn before, including learning how to. . . .love? Indeed, Miss Veronica Vaughn would become the apple of his pervy eye as Billy spent the allotted two weeks in the third grade before moving up in the world.

The film will never do anything to sway opinion for those who are firmly anti-Sandler, but the Billy Madison-Veronica Vaughn relationship turned out to be one of his better concoctions. There wasn’t much difference in physical size between the two nor was the age gap that drastic, yet Billy remained this incredibly small person for most of the film because of his profound social stifling growing up as daddy’s boy in the big mansion.

Life’s rough when you’re Billy Madison, so here are a few tips to keep a level head:

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    On a number of occasions, life is gonna try and sell ya some bullshit. It’ll be up to you to decide for yourself what to believe, and most of the time it won’t be easy. But here’s a clue: if the stories you’re hearing are coming from a bus driver with some epic mutton chops, best just to discard whatever he’s telling you. Even if it sounds great.

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    Life is short. Don’t fritter it away by dropping out of classes and all that supposed ‘hip shit’ kids are doing these days. Stay in school. Indeed, stay as long as you can. . . . (Also, don’t be the kid taking advice from a man-child sporting a jean-jacket and repeating the third grade.)

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    Life often can feel like a dream. Sometimes it helps to reach out to someone and question whether what you’re experiencing is too good to be true, or if it is really happening.

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    Karma. It has a GPS and it will find you one day. Sometimes it’s the right thing to do to just. . . forgive someone. . .

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    Don’t lie to yourself. That day WILL come. Be prepared for it, for it will take your all not to turn around and completely beat the shit out of the guys behind you who are already betting against a happy and healthy future for you. There’s no time to pay attention to these fools. Trust in yourself and those who have supported you.

3-0Recommendation: Billy Madison ranks up there among Sandler’s better films in his young career. It fits into what I consider the trio of Adam Sandler “classics” (to abuse the term): this, along with Happy Gilmore and Big Daddy. These three films don’t distinguish themselves a great deal from one another in terms of their style of comedy, but the key thing to note about them is that they were all actually funny. Recycled plot lines and jokes in today’s Sandler schtick run rampant, with no signs of the pandemic slowing down at all any time soon. Between his insanely immature Billy and the breathtaking Bridgette Wilson as Veronica Vaughn (not to mention a classic cameo from an always-welcomed Chris Farley), Sandler’s 1995 effort remains a favorite for many. This guy included.

Rated: PG-13

Running Time: 88 mins.

Quoted: “Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

All content originally published and the reproduction elsewhere without the expressed written consent of the blog owner is prohibited.

Photo credits: http://www.nerdfitness.com; http://www.imdb.com 

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9 thoughts on “TBT: Billy Madison (1995)

    • hahahaha.

      I’m giving certain people fits this month, I see! Hhaha. But to be quite honest with you, I randomly landed on this for a theme. in fact until this last thursday i wasn’t entirely sure I wouldn’t just do a bunch of random throwbacks, then I decided I would stick it out with Sandler.

      There was this nagging sense that I was “getting it out of the way” by doing this now, hahah. This way you won’t have to worry about too many more future Sandler postings. Instead you get a whole month’s worth of TBTs. 😉

  1. I think that two Adam Sandlers exist. I know it is a hidden and well kept secret perhaps being done in areas like Area 51 but they have succeeded in cloning folks. I know this because I know some high government officials. No lie. I am well connected. Anyways, the real Sandler is responsible for movies like this. Yet his clone got into a huge fight with him and decided to try and ruin his reputation with the movies that he has made lately. This is why we have witnessed his credibility demise. True story! Tell everyone you know.

    We must save Adam’s reputation.

    • I’m all for that man! Although at this juncture it doesn’t seem like it’d do much of a difference; Adam’s almost too far gone at this point. He doesn’t seem at all interested, not one iota, of shaking things up in this career stage. Which quite possibly could be his final frontier if he keeps being Adam #2, as I’ll call him. I totally buy into the clone idea.

      I’m tempted to pose my next Throwback Thursday as something kind of interesting. I’m thinking about asking the question of where it all went wrong for Sandler. See what different people say. Could make for an interesting poll topic. . . . 😉

      • See, it is a good one eh! He is appearing in a drama this year so lets hope that it is the real Sandler! Actually, he has a few films coming out!

        Go for it! Sounds unique

      • What’s the drama featuring him in it? I don’t think I know anything about that. (Of course, I haven’t done shit all for checking out what’s upcoming, either. I’ve been lazy)

    • Damn straight, honkie. Billy Madison is a good comedy. THis is the Sandler I speak of whenever I refer to good Sandler. I think it’s slightly better than his Happy Gilmore. And maybe Big Daddy too

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