Thursday, July 12, 2012

Deconstructing Sandler - Billy Madison

I do not own the above image.  For Entertainment Purposes Only. Copyright Universal Pictures & Roberts Simonds Productions.  All Rights Reserved.

Billy Madison (Sandler) is the lone heir to a multi-national, multi-million dollar hotel chain.  His father (Darren McGavin) decides to retire but doesn’t want to give the company to Billy, mainly due to pressure from his #3 in command, Eric Gordon (Bradley Whitford).  So, Billy, in order to keep the company and his lifestyle, must graduate, one grade every two weeks.  Can he do it? Will he get the hot 2nd grade teacher to fall for him?  Will I give a crap?

Best joke: I laughed twice.  Not a typo, twice.  Both times were at the impeccable tone & timing of Norm MacDonald.  The first time was early with the line about getting a job after first grade.  The second was about 45 minutes later while commenting on the news report.  Everything else, especially Billy's antics in the beginning, are worse than Edward Scissorhands & Wolverine collaborating on a rock band featuring chalkboards.

Worst joke: Of all the jokes I didn’t laugh at, from the various jokes on the field trip to the “strip study session” to Steve Buscemi in makeup, one ready grinded (ground?) my gears.  During one of the graduation parties, a clown on stilts is hired.  Something runs amok and causes the clown to fall.  Everyone laughs.  Well, except for the clown, who has blood gushing from his head, dying.  About 45 minutes later, during the musical number, he emerges from behind the fountain, as if nothing happened.  This joke really isn’t offensive but it is tasteless.  First, the audience has to find joy in the fatal injury of a character on the screen in 4 shots.  Second, we get a totally ineffective joke that has no relation or bearing on what is happening on screen, which isn’t very funny to begin with.  And do not even get me started on the borderline anti-Catholic or Protestant “O’Doyle rules” “gag”.

Sandler’s character: I am just going to come out and say it: Sandler’s Billy Madison is the most annoying and pathetic main character protagonist in the history of motion pictures.  Andrew Dice Clay was in a movie once and wasn’t this bad.  Billy is a spoiled rotten man-child before the term was on Urban Dictionary.  We are introduced to Billy by him riding a jet ski in a fountain then chasing a penguin on a riding lawn mower then finally making baby noises during a business dinner.  He acts like the petulant ten-year-olds who go to every one of his movies wants to act.  Billy only changes when threatened with losing his lifeline.  Even then, he never does.  He still acts like someone who started noticing boobs an hour ago.

Love interest: Veronica Vaughn, played by Bridgette Wilson, better known today as Mrs. Pete Sampras, is Billy’s 2nd grade teacher.  At first, she is just like the audience should be: repulsed by Billy.  Somehow, someway, Veronica falls for him.  Why?  It seems that the screenwriters, including Sandler himself, made her do it.  And worst of all, it just occurs.  There is no series of events between Veronica & Billy or just Veronica herself showing that she is even falling for him until she becomes the subject of “strip studying”.  Even sadder than this role, Wilson next most famous role was as Elsa in “I Know What You Did Last Summer”.  Just sad…

Message: As noted by Veronica at the beginning of the third act, you can be anything you want to be because you always have it inside yourself.  I call bullshit!  The only thing Billy has inside him at all times is light beer.  Until the ill-conceived and utterly pathetic bribe ruined the original plan, Billy showed little to no improvement as a human being.  And yet, he not only had the ability to graduate high school all along, Billy could be a successful teacher.  Of what?  Fat, Drunk & Stupid 101 at Faber College?  Someone alert Flounder.

Overall Impression: Simply put, “Billy Madison” is a reprehensible waste of 35mm film.  Georges Melies had to melt about half his masterpieces to make shoes so he could eat and stay warm.  Adam Sandler, because of the success of this heinous glob of dog intestines, is able to make any movie he wants and is paid enough to sleep on a fresh bed of caviar every night.  I can’t believe I wasted 90 minutes watching this and an additional hour or so writing this.  To all the fans of this movie, if you can actually read and made it this far: F!@# YOU!!!

0, zero, nada, zipo, squadoosch, love, bubkiss, lint in your pocket is better than this stars(out of five)

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