Groundhog Day Reviews
A weatherman finds himself living the same day over and over again.
Smug, snide, cynical and dripping with more than an ounce of well-trained insincerity, Pittsburgh local Weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray, whose performance here seems to be his usual, languid, wise-ass self, but upon further review, is arguably one of his most slyly executed performance of his career) is not looking forward to covering Groundhog Day in nearby Punxsutawney. He isn't too thrilled with who he's being dispatched to cover it with: a bright new producer (Andie MacDowell) and an unassuming but equally wise-ass cameraman he's worked with before (Chris Elliott). Come the actual event, Phil goes through the motions, then is crestfallen to find out he'll be stuck in Punxsutawney through the day (he was set to leave town that afternoon) and have to spend one more night at a quaint bed-and breakfast where he doesn't fit in. That would soon prove to be the least of his problems, as he begins to relive the same February 2nd ad infinitum.
Murray's performance here is really worth more than a cursory glance: in having to relive the same day over and over again, his Phil is left open to relive it in both generous and selfish ways. As he continually re-crafts the same routines (and tries, in increasingly more grim fashions to escape it), he begins to learn about things and people he absolutely never would, not the least of which his attraction and affinity for his producer. Director Harold Ramis with Second City and Ghostbusters cohort Bill Murray is able to craft a film that, while it seems to be unable to find a way to wrap itself up (and is probably my biggest gripe of this film), is still both cuttingly funny, poignant and somewhat philosophical in its mien.
Weird but good! I didn't really care for this flick even though I've known about the film since I was a kid but never e=really paid attention to it, but I always would here about 'Groundhog day' and so I decided I wanted to know what is this 'Groundhog day?'... And wow, I did not expect to enjoy it that much!
It's an unusual fantasy until you contemplate and measure the pleasure with the dissatisfaction, I mean it sounds all rather cool until you think about the result that are never met, and that's when it is no longer a fantasy... but a nightmare. Laugh now, cry later.
It's a a strange one with romance, comedy and a twist(s) of fate(s)! Not bad at all!
Bitter weatherman Phil is stuck doing the Groundhog day report from Punxatawney, Penn. He wakes up and for some unknown reason is forced to repeat the same day countless times, probably over many decades (precisely how many days he repeats is a matter of debate with fans), until her can move on to the next day. He masters many skills, piano playing, auto mechanics, etc. out of pure boredom. Murray goes from total hedonism, to multiple suicides, to opportunism, to altruism. He cannot advance to the next day, nor get Andie McDowell, (his producer, not a very interesting character but lovable and beautiful nonetheless, like most of her characters), until he really learns what he is meant to do on earth as a human being.
The film has 100% cliched characters, but it needs them to make its points. Rubin and Ramis' script use those cliches to explore the most deep and fundamental quest for meaning: Why are we humans here? How can we achieve happiness? Will things ever change?
I took a course with the Kabbalah Center, (it was only a one off experience, but an interesting one) The rabbis there conveyed the fundamental idea, that we are all forced to repeat our lives every day, and in each subsequent reincarnation until we learn our lesson and our true life's purpose, and then we earn the right to move on. This feels true to me, whether or not you subscribe to spiritualism and actual reincarnation.
Groundhog Day is good for multiple viewings, there are new things to notice in each time you see it. It's a very special film and I love it.