Sunday, February 6, 2011

855. Groundhog Day (1993)

Running Time: 101 minutes
Directed By: Harold Ramis
Written By: Danny Rubin, Harold Ramis
Main Cast: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky


This may only be a temporary comeback, but then again, it may not. But let's not harp on about that, shall we and let's jump right into this terrific comedy and one of my personal favorite comedies, "Groundhog Day".

The film tells the tale of Phil Connors (Murray), a Pittsburgh weatherman who is making his yearly trip to Punxsatawney, Pennsylvania for Groundhog Day, where he will report on the forecast of the "world's most famous forecaster" the groundhog, Punxsatawney Phil. Going along with Phil are his new producer Rita and his cameraman Larry and Phil is, to say the least, not too thrilled about making the trip. Once there Phil does his duties and tries his best to get out of town in a hurry, but a blizzard stops him and he is forced to spend the night in Punxsatawney. Upon awaking the following morning, Phil hears the same song chiming out of the clock radio, "I Got You Babe" by Sonny and Cher, as he heard the previous morning. Phil soon realizes that it is mysteriously Groundhog Day all over again. He races to the streets to ask where everyone is headed and his suspicions are confirmed, when they all say they're going to see the groundhog. The same thing happens the next day and the next and Phil goes through different periods, while dealing with his own personal crisis, which no one else is experiencing. At first Phil takes advantage of the situations, robbing an armored car and conning a woman into thinking they went to high school together. Then Phil begins to commit suicide, but finds himself tucked into his bed at the local bed & breakfast every single morning, without a scratch on him. All along Phil begins to fall in love with Rita and when Phil snaps out of his humdrum state and begins to truly live life and make the most of each day (or the one day in Phil's case), it is only then that he can begin to embrace this would be curse.

I've always liked "Groundhog Day" because I never really looked at is as JUST a comedy. I think there are a lot of people in the world who could take a lesson from this seemingly simple movie. The people who go through their day to day lives with disdain and sarcasm, hating everything and everyone around them and making others miserable in the process. These are the people who could learn a thing of two from this film. People who, while they're not literally re-living the same day over and over, but who in a sense are re-living the same day over and over, constantly miserable, sad, bitter people, all their lives. In the end, Phil used the fact that he was re-living the same day over and over to his advantage, taking piano lessons, helping his fellow man, getting to know the people around him and treating everyone with respect and in the end Phil prevails and gets what he more ways than one.

It's easy to write Bill Murray off as "just another comedian", but that's not Bill. I've always been a Murray fan and while he is hilarious, I wouldn't write him off as just another comedian. I'm glad that in recent years Murray has taken to more serious films, as they suit him very well. "Groundhog Day" provided Murray a great outlet to be both funny and serious, two things he does very well. Maybe the most serious moment in the entire film (and my favorite scene) is when Murray convinces Rita of what's happening to him and makes her believe it by telling her things about herself, things that he could never possibly know under normal circumstances. Andie MacDowell is great too and incredibly gorgeous and plays well with Murray.

RATING: 8.5/10 Great film and a personal favorite of mine and something that, I believe, is truly a MUST SEE BEFORE YOU DIE. Sorry if that review wasn't up to par, I'm a bit rusty.


February 6, 2011 3:56pm

1 comment:

  1. Good morning Movie man, you are back, welcome. Sorry it has taken timr for mr to notice.
    And also a favourite of mine to kick off with (and all that Woody Allen to come as well).
    I really like this film, and especialyBill Murrays performance. \i too would give it 8.5, which is a little on the mean side, because for me, the end drops off. There is learning to be a nice person, accepting other peoples taste levels, not being so superior -good, but has that got to be at the expence of leaping headlong into EVERY bit of mainstream popular culture and loose any bit of quirky individualism? (If they re-made this today, Phil would be on Big Brother or be an X factor judge). Sure, Phil needed a lesson or two, but he didn't need to be totaly lobotomised.
    Oooops a bit of a controversial re-start here- sorry!


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