Posted on 6/26/13 05:31 AM
In Groundhog Day, legendary comedian Bill Murray plays Phil, a meteorologist who is sent every year to Punxsutawney, PA to cover the Groundhog Day festivities. This event is something Phil can't stand. He's ready to leave, but a blizzard strands him, and by the next morning, he finds that he's living Groundhog Day over and over and over again. He then proceeds to do whatever he wants.
Andie MacDowell stars as Phil's producer Rita, Chris Elliot plays cameraman Larry, Stephen Tobolowsky plays Ned, an annoying high school friend of Phil who is now an insurance salesman, Brian Doyle-Murray plays the town mayor, and director Harold Ramis cameos as the town doctor.
When I first heard that there was to be a film about someone living the same day over and over again, I thought it was the stupidest idea ever. But with Bill Murray in the lead, I figured it can't be that bad. Watching the film, I realized that Bill Murray is a talented comedian and is pretty funny in the role. There is also some good comedy, with the best scenes being Murray's suicide attempts, such as electrocution by toaster oven, driving off a cliff, running himself over, and jumping off a building.
What's wrong with Groundhog Day, if there's good comedy? Well, there's just not a lot of comedy in this. In the second half of the film, Phil uses his repeated days to attempt to fall in love with his female producer. While many view these scenes as touching, I view them as boring, wishing that the comedy would return again. I liked MacDowell in her role, but during the romantic scenes with Bill Murray, their chemistry is off, heavily. Also, I had no idea where the film was heading. It was advertised as a comedy, but the film turns from comedy to romantic drama, which didn't make much since if it was advertised as a comedy. When I want comedy, I want comedy, not a melodrama.
So in the end, while Groundhog Day has some decent comedy, it's overuse of melodrama weakens the film as a whole. Honestly, I thought that the story was done much better, and funnier, in a Donald Duck cartoon.