Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

There is no way this winter is ever going to end.

If there’s one thing the movies of the late 80s and early 90s were into, it was warm-hearted comedies with lessons to impart. Harold Ramis’ Groundhog Day is an excellent example of this type of film. Starring Andie MacDowell and Bill Murray in what was to be an iconic role, this farcical comedy takes a knock-out-of-the-park premise and shapes it realistically and impressively into a finely molded sculpture, ceaselessly entertaining and endlessly rewatchable; a bit ironic, given the story.

You know the plot: a disgruntled weatherman finds himself waking up to the same exact day, every day, and is forced to relive it and rethink his choices and attitude, and ultimately winds up a better person from the experience. The humor comes from how Murray takes advantage of his situation initially, before coming to terms with it and using it to his advantage in a much more positive direction. This film would not have worked were it not for two things: an amazingly prescient script, and a solid core performance from Murray, and both are without question the stars of the film.

Stephen Sondheim once considered making a musical adaptation of Groundhog Day, but dropped the project stating that to try and make a musical of the film would be to “gild the lily”; that is, to unnecessarily add something to that which is already perfect. I don’t know if I’d call Groundhog Day perfect, but it is definitely pushing the line, and that makes it a winner in my book. I actually hadn’t seen this one until just now, and I’m glad I finally did.

Arbitrary Rating: 9/10

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6 thoughts on “Groundhog Day

  1. I didn’t know that people who hadn’t seen “Groundhog Day” still existed in the world. Still, I’m thrilled that you enjoyed it. It’s such a fun movie, and there is a part in it that always gets me choked up (when he buys the old man soup). It’s a great blend of just the right dose of tragedy and heart-warming comedy.

    • There’s always certain films that even the most diehard movie buffs haven’t seen, though they might be reticent to admit it. For me, the example I would always use was Alien, until I finally saw it and reviewed it for this blog, so I’ll have to come up with another one. I’m sure you have yours as well. 🙂

      • Oh my goodness, I have a great deal of “classics” I have yet to see. I’ve been carefully avoiding Platoon as war movies traumatize me, and I have a feeling Platoon will REALLY traumatize me. Big names of note I was able to check off this year: Fight Club, Unforgiven, and Goodfellas. No longer on my “Wall of Shame.”

  2. This is a special film in a lot of ways. I even by the love story here, which is rare for me in a film like this. Of course, it all comes back to Murray’s performance, which is one of his best in any film.

    Confession time: as a horror movie fan, I still haven’t seen the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. You’re not alone in having a major gap or two.

  3. “What if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.”

    This is one of those movies that I will stop to watch at least until the next commercial break if I see if while changing channels, even though I own it on DVD.

    I’m trying to think of a film I consider “big” that I haven’t seen (I’ve been working off lists since 1998 when I started using IMDB’s Top 250 list.) Looking through the Oscar nominees, I haven’t seen Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Cleopatra, Dark Victory, The Guns of Navarone, The Longest Day, Midnight Express, Suspicion, and The Yearling. From the AFI lists I haven’t seen Cinderella, Dark Victory, The Guns of Navarone, The Omen, Pinocchio, and Poltergeist. From the 1001 list I haven’t seen Nanook of the North, Only Angels Have Wings, Pinocchio, Mr. Hulot’s Holiday, Pather Panchali, Breathless (I’ve seen the remake), Fellini Satyricon, Mean Streets, Dawn of the Dead (I’ve seen the remake), Poltergeist, and The Decalogue.

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