If there’s such a thing as an Adam Sandler oeuvre — and trust us, even he’d scoff at such a highfalutin notion — then these mid-’90s entries would form the bratty blueprint. Establishing the angry-young-man voice that would soon hoarsen with the likes of Little Nicky, these dimwit-done-good comedies are actually a lot funnier than you think. The frat-friendly gags are all here — lively old folks, ’70s rock ballads, and left-field supporting players like a pre-Arrested DevelopmentCarl Weathers — but so is a surprisingly even-keeled balance of schmaltz and cynicism (something the Farrelly brothers have tried to get a handle on for years). Snobs may cringe — especially at the Opera Man-lite vocal tics, which are somehow even more annoying a decade later — but it’s hard to deny that before he became a box office Big Daddy, Sandler was trying to use his powers for good. Not great, maybe, but good. EXTRAS A batch of deleted scenes and outtakes from both movies, which funnily flesh out the films’ supporting characters (especially Billy’s overly horny housemaid).
(Billy Madison: Bruce Macaulay)
Posted December 3 2004 — 12:00 AM EST