Movie Review: Billy Madison (1995)

Synopsis: After learning he only passed in school because his father bribed his teachers, 27-year-old hotel heir Billy Madison decides to return to school and complete all 12 grades in a 24-week period so his father will trust him to take over the family business. Standing in his way is a conniving hotel executive who will gain control of the company if Billy fails.

Who's in it? The movie stars Adam Sandler, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, Bradley Whitford, Josh Mostel and Norm MacDonald.


Review: My wife and I were a bit tired out after attending a car show with our kids on Sunday and wound up taking an afternoon break on the couch. After surfing through our TV channels and discovering there was very little on, we ended up settling on this film.

I've seen this movie before. But, it was a long time ago and, by the time we started watching it, I realized I remembered very little about it. After watching it, however, I did discover it was better than I was expecting it to be.

I'm actually not a huge Adam Sandler fan. I like some of his films but, more often than not, it is usually in spite of him rather than because of him. And, unfortunately, this movie falls into that category.

My biggest problem with him in this movie is how he played the title character. This movie is much more believable if Billy were smart but just lazy/entitled. But, there are times when I'm not really sure if that is the case or not. Not to mention, his childish antics, while somewhat funny in a classroom setting, are much more irritating and less funny when he's not around children. And, I'm sorry, but, because of his child-like behavior, I find it really hard to believe his third grade teacher (Wilson-Sampras) wasn't just dating him because he was rich.

That being said, as is the case with many of his films, the supporting cast does a good job when it comes to making up for his shortcomings, whether they are a main character or just a minor character in a couple of scenes (I especially loved Chris Farley as the bus driver). Even the younger actors playing Billy's schoolmates pulled their weight and kept the movie watchable to the point I didn't hate it.

Final Opinion: It's an OK film with some funny scenes. But, while it is entertaining, I still think it would have been considerably better with a different lead actor.

My Grade: B

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