Groundhog DayFeature Film | Harold Ramis By Eric Schneider
Same old, same old.
Arguably the most beloved American comedy of the 1990s, Groundhog Day is an exceptional film for exactly two reasons—a great premise and Bill Murray. A cynical and egotistical Pittsburgh weatherman, Phil (Murray) gets hauled off to cover February's rodent-centric holiday in small-town Pennsylvania, accompanied by his beautiful and optimistic new producer, Rita (Andie MacDowell), and their dutiful cameraman, Larry (Chris Elliott). Stranded in Punxsutawney by a blizzard, Phil wakes up the next morning to discover that he's living the same day over again—and again. Attempting to come to terms with his mundane existential nightmare, Phil has moments of deluded grandeur, deep despair, and utter euphoria as he discovers that there are endless possibilities of what can happen in one 24-hour period stuck on repeat. While it's a brilliant conceit, the movie wouldn't be the cultural touchstone that it is without Murray, who is alternately—and sometimes simultaneously—hilarious, infuriating, and empathetic. And, despite her unfortunate early '90s wardrobe, MacDowell is luminous as Rita, an intelligent and self-possessed woman who makes the plot entirely plausible when it turns into a romantic comedy. Although the film threatens to veer into overly sentimental territory on occasion, Murray is committed to giving the tale a restless and edgy undercurrent, which makes what could have been an admirable imaginative comedy into a great one.
|Groundhog Day Trailer|