Just finished re-watching Groundhog Day. Wow. I remembered it as being good, but didn’t realise quite how amazing it actually is. For a romantic comedy, not the most subtle of vehicles at the best of times, it addresses some pretty deep issues in a complex framework, while managing to be laugh out loud funny all the way.
For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, it centers around a self-centered, cantankerous weatherman played by the ever amazing Bill Murray who goes to cover the groundhog day festival. All goes well for him, and badly for everyone else, until the next morning when, for some never explained reason, Murray wakes up on Groundhog day again. Everything is the same as the day before, and noone else seems to realise what he’s going through. This happens the next day, and the next, and so on..
The framework is based around an old Greek fable of an eternal idiot who never learns, and can’t die, but Harold Ramis (of Ghostbusters fame) does an amazing job of re-writing the story in a modern way. Murray is of course amazing, and is totally believable as he goes through the roller coaster emotions of happiness, despair and then acceptance. Along the way he learns many important life lessons and, of course, ends the film a better person. In the hands of these two masters, and a great supporting cast, the film never seems trite or preachy as it shares Murray’s learnings with us about how to best live your life. Plus it has a cute groundhog! So go watch it today. It’s perfect winter watching, and Groundhog Day is only a few days off now on February 2nd.