Billy Madison (1995)
Billy Madison was the movie where I realized: I think all of this is funny. Why? And why doesn't anyone else understand why I think this is so funny? And who can I discuss this, uh, humor with? It came out amid other mid-'90s movies that lampooned or embraced the imbecile: Dumb and Dumber was released the year before, with Jim Carrey receiving similar barbs concerning the downfall of intelligent civilization; Forrest Gump, the same year, received an Oscar. Billy Madison was generally regarded as inane crud -- a formulaic tale of a man/child going back to school to prove to his wealthy father (the great Darren McGavin) that he could indeed run the family business. But it's not the story that's so anarchically amusing, it's the wacky bits of off-the-wall humor (musical numbers, penguins, The Godfather: Part II) that spin the movie into some inspired moments of sheer lunacy.