Phil Connors, an arrogant Pittsburgh weatherman, is dreading his upcoming assignment: to cover a Groundhog Day festival in smalltown Pennsylvania. Making no effort to hide his frustration, he will find himself caught in a time warp, where he has to relive the same day over and over again.
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One of my favourite American comedies ever; Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell are just fantastic together. The writing is bizarre, funny and incredibly clever; a surreal film about everyday life and how we can all become better humans. A powerful story which gets philosophical, romantic and melancholic at the same time; I would watch it over and over again, and always feel like it was the first time (or the same day!)
Comedy has never been my bag, so if a movie in the genre makes me laugh I typically feel like it's done its job. Not only is "Groundhog's Day" laugh-out-loud funny throughout its entire runtime, but it's also alternately morbid, existential, and genuinely sweet. In other words, it's an honest to God film. Thanks to his Sisyphus-like suffering, our protagonist's transformation feels earned rather than formulaic.
20 years later this stands as Ramis' finest work and has become a comedy classic. Ingenious scripting that rests on the charisma of Bill Murray and therefore is a raging success. Beneath the plot gimmick is a quite touching story of 'love conquers all' while at the same time looking at both the pros and foibles of possible immortality set in a reoccurring day which could be heaven or more likely a living hell.
Re-watching this it's hard to figure out how a movie so gimmicky can be so good. It's like an extended twilight zone episode, a great one. Bill Murray and Andie McDowell steal the show, but the performances from everyone are really top notch. The below comment likens this to Camus and frankly I can see why. A hilarious nightmare. Don't know why I'm writing this though. I expect you've already seen it. Watch it again.
What in all likelihood should have turned out to be a sub-par Murray vehicle with a gimmick instead, was somehow crafted into a really poignant–and hilarious–story as if the same day replaying itself scenario is so natural to Harold Ramis that it didn't even require any special imagination to come up with, just good old-fashioned story-telling of the type a time traveler might employ... hmmmm....
It turns out the gods want us to perfect ourselves. Why? Most of the time they're perfectly content with letting us destroy each other. Isn't the rest of his life going to be a huge disappointment after working so diligently on making the perfect day? No more do-overs or backsies.