Groundhog Day (1993)
IMDB Rating 8.1/10 101 min - Rated PG Comedy | Fantasy
Stars: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliot Director: Harold Ramis
Phil Conners (Murray) is a nasty, cynical, people-hating TV weather-man. This year, as every year, on 2 February, he makes a much-resented trip to Punxsutawney, the ‘Groundhog Capital’, to broadcast the big news from Groundhog Day: if Punxsutawney Phil (the Groundhog) appears, then spring has come; if he doesn’t its six more months of winter. However, on awaking the next morning, it’s Groundhog Day again...and on the next day, and the next. For a while, he enjoys taking advantage of his déjà-vu knowledge – especially of how to impress his long-suffering producer, Rita (MacDowell). Next, frustration leads him to various forms of suicide, but still wakes up the next day. Finally, however, though time and space remains stuck, he realises that things within him are changing. He starts on the long job – for which he needs many Groundhog days – of becoming a loveable human being. There haven’t been many movies that play with concurrent time. There are a few of the order of It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) where how things might have been are examined as a way ore re-evaluating how things are. In Groundhog Day, the method is not once-around shock tactics; its message is ‘You stay here and keep doing it till you get it right’. The fact that such a potentially grim situation (Phil Conners goes through 2 February 34 times) is hilarious owes its weak-at-the-knees thanks to Rubin and Ramis’ script and to the deep well of comedy talent that is Bill Murray.