Billy Madison (1995)

(On TV, September 1999) Here’s a splendid example of a comedy that loses “it” completely and repeatedly. “It” being wit, development, arc, punch lines and cohesiveness. Not the ingredients needed to build a successful comedy, you’ll say… and yet compare the silly throw-stuff-at-the-audience-until- something-sticks “philosophy” of Billy Madison with the meticulously constructed and developed comedy of, say, Shakespeare In Love and see if one isn’t funnier -and more satisfying- than the other. Even Adam Sandler’s latter Happy Gilmore is more focused and thus more enjoyable. Still, there’s no denying that there are a few good laughs out of Billy Madison, though they won’t make much of an impression… and won’t quite stop to make you wonder how on earth would someone like Madison would end up with someone like Brigitte Wilson.

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