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Groundhog Day (1993)

Cast: Bill Murray, Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, more...
Director: Harold Ramis, Harold Ramis
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Comedies, Romantic Comedy, Time Travel, SNL Alums, Fantasy
Running Time: 101 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Korean, Thai
    see additional details...

Bill Murray plays Phil, a TV weatherman working for a local station in Pennsylvania but convinced that national news stardom is in his grasp. Phil displays a charm and wit on camera that evaporates the moment the red light goes off; he is bitter, appallingly self-centered, and treats his co-workers with contempt, especially his producer Rita (Andie MacDowell) and cameraman Larry (Chris Elliot). On February 2, 1992, Phil, Rita, and Larry are sent on an assignment that Phil especially loathes: the annual Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney, PA, where the citizens await the appearance of Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog who will supposedly determine the length of winter by his ability to see his own shadow. Phil is eager to beat a hasty retreat, but when a freak snowstorm strands him in Punxsutawney, he wakes up the next morning with the strangest sense of déjà vu: he seems to be living the same day over again. The next morning it happens again, and then again. Soon, no matter what he does, he's stuck in February 2, 1992; not imprisonment nor attempted suicide nor kidnapping the groundhog gets him out of the loop. But the more Phil relives the same day, the more he's forced to look at other people's lives, and something unusual happens: he begins to care about others. He starts to respect people, he tries to save the life of a homeless man, and he discovers that he's falling in love with Rita and therefore wants to be someone that she could love in return. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Eternal Recurrence by RJones3 February 7, 2009 - 8:12 AM PST
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful
This movie is great fun. Why should I spoil it with serious analysis when it does not take itself all that serious? Well, because the idea of repeating a day endlessly evokes feelings beyond the mere humor of it. That great philosophical crank, Frederick Nietzsche, took seriously the idea of coming around to the present again, which he called eternal recurrence. But he was not keen on having so much time on his hands. In fact, the idea struck him as scarcely endurable. It is not surprising that Phil the weatherman tries to short circuit the cycle. Something else is happening, though, as Phil rolls over for the umpteenth time to turn off his alarm. He begins to realize that "he who kisses the joy as it flies/ Lives in eternity's sun rise" (Blake). Who would not find, after an eternity of the same old thing, a winter morning in some hick town, well, beautiful?

A charming existential comedy by CDill October 24, 2005 - 1:16 PM PDT
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
Bill Murray carries this story with ease, displaying toward life the same classic attitudes the average person can expect to display toward death: denial, anger, bargaining (the attempt to gain control), depression, and finally acceptance of life on life's terms. His character, "Phil", finds himself trapped reliving the same day, ad nauseam. Phil is a self-absorbed cynic, and Punxsutawney, PA becomes for Phil his own personal, inescapable, maddeningly perky hell. Surrounded by its jovial denizens, Phil eventually comes to terms with his predicament and develops real relationships with his coworkers, the townspeople, and himself. There is a delicious chemistry between Murray and romantic interest Andy McDowell, and the scenes between them are a refreshing slap in the face.

This is an existential parable illustrating the hazards of living unconsciously, allowing people, experiences and time to go by unnoticed. As Phil discovers, we can make profound changes (both negative and positive) in the lives of those around us by understanding the power of our impact on the world.

Regardless of the underlying theme, Groundhog Day is a light romantic comedy, albeit a highly original and hilarious one.

I had this same experience... by pelikan March 1, 2002 - 3:05 PM PST
2 out of 19 members found this review helpful
One time at a movie theater, this really boring movie was on, and as a matter of fact it was so bad it put me to sleep. When I woke up, it was the same scene of the movie putting me to sleep again and again.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.40)
651 Votes
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