Billy Madison/Happy Gilmore Collection review, Billy Madison/Happy Gilmore Collection DVD
Adam Sandler, Bridgette Wilson, Christopher McDonald, Bradley Whitford, Julie Bowen, Frances Bay, Carl Weathers
Billy Madison/Happy Gilmore Collection

Reviewed by Jamey Codding


ong before Adam Sandler was making movies like “Punch Drunk Love” and “Spanglish,” he was making movies like “Billy Madison” and “Happy Gilmore.” To some, that may seem like a slam on the Saturday Night Live alum, but to many others (this reviewer included), it’s anything but. For those in the latter group, the “Billy Madison/Happy Gilmore Collection” is a must-buy.

Admittedly, “Billy Madison” and “Happy Gilmore” don’t represent Sandler’s best big-screen work, but they do stand as the first two steps he took on his road to superstardom, a fact that Sandler himself recognized when he named his production company Happy Madison. Most critics hated the films, released in 1995 and 1996, because of their moronic humor and simple writing; of course, fans loved them because of their moronic humor and simple writing. Along with fellow SNL cast member Chris Farley, Sandler was the king of stupid humor in the mid- to late-90s, and these two films led to his crowning.

Fans will enjoy the widescreen editions of the movies, but the special features may rank as a slight disappointment. There’s a lot to choose from, though only a handful of the deleted scenes from “Billy Madison” are anything more than slightly amusing, most notably those featuring the frisky Juanita (Theresa Merritt), the Madison family maid, and the “Happy Gilmore” deletions are merely average as well. But while the outtakes from “Billy Madison” are positively lame, those from “Happy Gilmore” are actually funny. Finally, both films also feature a set of production notes, while audio commentary from director Tamra Davis is included in the “Billy Madison” extras. It would’ve been nice to hear from Sandler, either by himself or together with his directors, but a shortage in quality is at least partially offset by a bump in quantity.

“Billy Madison” and “Happy Gilmore” don’t make you think, but they make you laugh, and sometimes that’s all that matters when you’re looking for a movie: mindless comedy. With this DVD set, you get all the mindless comedy you can handle, plus enough extra to keep true Sandler fans busy long after the credits roll.

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