With it being Groundhog Day today, I only figured it would be appropriate to review the 1993 comedy movie by the same name. This film stars Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky, and Brian Doyle-Murray. It takes place in Pittsburgh as well as in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on February 2, Groundhog Day. Finally, this classic comedy is directed by Harold Ramis, who, coincidentally, has a part in this film as a Neurologist.
This film is about a TV meteorologist named Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray), who, along with his producer Rita (played by Andie MacDowell), & their cameraman Larry (played by Chris Elliott), work for the fictional Pittsburgh television station, WPBH-TV9. Since it is February 2, Groundhog Day, Phil & his team must travel to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania in order to catch the tradition & to find out if Punxsutawney Phil does indeed see his shadow or not. Unfortunately, after they arrive in Punxsutawney, a blizzard forces them to stay there an extra day. The next morning, Phil’s alarm clock goes off playing Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe” at 6 a.m. Phil thinks it’s the same tape as yesterday, only to realize that he is reliving the same day, February 2, Groundhog Day. Once he realizes that he’s living the same day over & over, he figures he can do whatever he wants without fear of repercussion. At first, he tries many times to commit suicide. For example, he electrocutes himself, only to find himself once again in bed being awaken to Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe” at 6 a.m. on February 2, Groundhog Day. Once he realizes that it’s not working, he decides to open up to Rita & to become a town hero. For example, he performs the Heimlich Maneuver on a choking man. At first, she thinks he’s crazy. However, she eventually has empathy for him.
One aspect of the filmmaking which I liked was the performance of Bill Murray. He is one of the funniest actors I have ever seen. I like his performances because it seems like he doesn’t have to go over the top to be funny. It seems like he can just be himself & be funny. It was a very good job by Bill Murray as he easily stole the show in this movie.
The other aspect of the filmmaking which I thought was really incredible & creative was the direction they decided to take this film in. Instead of it just being a straight movie where we find out of Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, we get a man who is forced to live the same day over & over again. Imagine if you could go back in time & right a wrong. I think one of the funniest moments in this film is when Phil ran into Ned Ryerson (played by Stephen Tobolowsky), over & over.
My overall reaction to this film is that I absolutely loved it. It ranks as one of the funniest movies I have ever seen as well as one of the overall best movies I have ever seen. Bill Murray is a delight in this film. This is a great comedy movie for the whole family to enjoy. Finally, this movie would be great for a Psychology class as it has to deal with one man’s struggle of living the same day over & over. But, it does it in a lighthearted way where on one hand, you feel sorry for poor old Phil, but on the other hand, it’s hilarious as he gets to do the one thing we can never do in real life, which is getting that second chance at a first impression.