Groundhog Day

Starring:  Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell Directed by:  Harold Ramis

In just six days, we'll know if six more weeks of winter are in store for us, keeping the deep freeze and snow going well into March.  I have heard that Punxsutawney Phil, the famous season-predicting groundhog, is rudely woken from its hibernation just to be trotted out for those few moments in the sun (or not) to determine if it will see its shadow.  Which does not seem very nice.

Also not nice would be having to live the same day over and over again. Phil (Bill Murray), a local weatherman who delivers the forecast with style and has an extremely high opinion of his skills, has to deliver his morning report from Punxsutawney, PA during the Groundhog Day festival.  Traveling with producer Rita (Andie McDowell) and cameraman Larry (Chris Elliott), Phil continuously acts like a conceited ass.

After getting stuck in town due to road closings from a blizzard he predicted would miss the area entirely, Phil and his crew are stuck in Punxsutawney.  And the next morning, Phil discovers he's stuck re-living February 2nd.  Over and over and over again.  The alarm clock clicks over to 6:00 am, the radio station starts playing "I Got You Babe," and Phil gets another shot at the day.

Bill Murray is perfectly expressive in this role – the sheer befuddledness of Phil the first few times he repeats the day, the glee he takes in pushing the limits of indulgence (cake for breakfast, ridiculous behavior), the doldrums where he engages in several suicide attempts to see if death would release him from this odd fate.  He is also charmingly crafty, collecting information during every repeat in order to seduce women.  One such target is Rita, who is not easily wooed (evidenced by a montage of their evening dates ending with Phil getting a resounding slap in the face.)

The inventive ways Phil uses his seemingly infinite time are hilarious and clever – making this a very enjoyable film.

If you:

  • Prefer slapstick romantic comedies to cerebal yet silly ones
  • Can't get past a leading lady that is not Hollywood cute (i.e. Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, etc.)
  • Don't want to see a movie where snow is a major part of the landscape – at least not in the next six weeks

Don't put it in the queue.

If you:

  • Like the 'choose your own adventure' style
  • Liked Scrooged
  • Appreciate the absurd

Put it in the queue!

Written By Jennifer Venson