By Owen Gleiberman
February 24, 1995 at 05:00 AM EST
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Adam Sandler is the quintessential cast member of the current, you-can’t-believe-how-awful-it-is Saturday Night Live. The comic message behind his snarky grins, moronic ukulele ditties, and baby geek vocal mannerisms is that he can do anything he wants and you’ll find him adorable. Sandler’s whiny narcissism is on full display in Billy Madison (Universal, PG-13), a kind of dumbed-down Kindergarten Cop in which he plays an infantile rich kid who’s forced to repeat grades 1 through 12 (at two weeks per grade) in order to inherit his father’s hotel empire. Back at school, Billy engages in such sidesplitting antics as eating paste, terrorizing his classmates on the dodgeball court, and getting the hots for his third-grade teacher (Bridgette Wilson), who happens to be a dead ringer for Dorothy Stratten. Even on its own ! dim-bulb terms, this runt of a comedy never locates its central joke: Is it that Billy the child-man doofus doesn’t fit in with his pint-size peers or that he fits in all too well? By the end, you feel like a drill sergeant — you want to wipe that stupid grin off Sandler’s face. D

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  • PG-13
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