Directed by Harold Ramis. US. 1993. Ages 11+. 101 minutes. Sony. 35mm.
Sat., February 2, 2013
It’s Groundhog Day; need we say more?!
I guess we do.
No film has understood Bill Murray better than Harold Ramis’ brilliant Groundhog Day, a hilarious and unexpectedly profound comedy that breaks him down and reveals every conceivable facet of his personality. Like the high-concept equivalent of locking someone away until he’s learned a lesson, Danny Rubin’s original story forces Murray’s character to exhaust his seemingly inexhaustible sarcasm and finally come to terms with its limitations. Murray stars as an embittered local TV weatherman who is sent to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivitiesor, as he puts it, “the excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather.” After a surprise blizzard pens him in town with relentlessly optimistic producer Andie MacDowell and cameraman Chris Elliott, Murray wakes up the next morning to find that he’s caught in a time warp, doomed to relive Feb. 2 in Punxsutawney over and over again. Groundhog Day comes up with wildly imaginative variations on the same encounters, mining new laughs out of Murray’s mood swings and creative impulses and making the most of his talent for improvisation. A throwback to a time when Hollywood films weren’t so often cynical and insulting, Groundhog Day is a reminder of what popular entertainment can accomplish. (Scott Tobias, The Onion A.V. Club)