Director: Harold Ramis
Writer: Harold Ramis, Danny Rubin
Released: February 1993
Starring: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott
Groundhog Day is one of my favourite comedies by a long shot.
Bill Murray is perfect for the role of sarcastic weather man Phil Connors who finds himself reliving the same day over and over again.
Radio DJs: Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s cooooold out there today. It’s coooold out there every day.
It’s not his favourite day to relive, in fact it’s one of his least favourite days of the year. Groundhog Day is a popular tradition in USA and Canada whereby a groundhog is pulled out of a hutch in front of crowds of people and ‘predicts’ when the first day of Spring will be.
Phil Connors’ day is reset every morning to relive Groundhog Day repeatedly, so after a few days of confusion, he throws himself into doing exactly what he’s always wanted to do knowing tomorrow will never come. This film lives out our fantasy of living a life without consequences.
Phil: Do you ever have déjà vu, Mrs. Lancaster?
Mrs. Lancaster: I don’t think so, but I could check with the kitchen.
He drinks, he flirts, he lies, he eats only doughnuts and even learns piano. After getting bored, he begins to wonder how to escape this loop.
Piano Teacher: Not bad… Mr. Connors, you say this is your first lesson?
Phil: Yes, but my father was a piano *mover*, so…
He soon stoops to an absolute low of depression through this entrapment in a small town in a blizzard on corny Groundhog Day. So Connors kills himself. Again. And again. But he still wakes up unharmed the next morning. He concludes he’s an invincible God.
Bill Murray was the perfect choice, because his glum, dark humour is perfect for the brutish and egotistical, but hilarious, Phil Connors.
Phil: I was in the Virgin Islands once. I met a girl. We ate lobster, drank piña coladas. At sunset, we made love like sea otters. *That* was a pretty good day. Why couldn’t I get *that* day over, and over, and over…
The script, if I remember correctly, was massively controversial before they began filming. Because who would really want to watch a character go through the same day over and over again? While the first few scenes are boring for me to watch now that I’ve seen the film about 103 times, luckily they went ahead with the film because the first watch will be sure to make you chuckle.
If you’re not laughing at Connors’ comments and insults, you’ll be laughing out of sheer frustration for the character.
This comedy soon turns into a philosophical drama/romance, which actually makes you contemplate a little about what you’d really want to do with your life. Treating every day as though it’s your last, or even worse, as though today is going to repeat for eternity. That’s a scary thought.
Phil: Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.
Groundhog Day is a classic, and is frequently referred to in films and in every day conversation to describe a monotonous and uneventful day.
It’s easy to watch, is family-friendly (for the most part), and a little less shallow than the average comedy.
Jodie’s rating: 7.5/10