A weather man is reluctantly sent to cover a story about a weather forecasting rat (as he calls it). This is his fourth year on the story, and he makes no effort to hide his frustration. On awaking the following day he discovers that its Groundhog Day again, and again, and again. First he uses this to his advantage, then comes the realisation that he is doomed to spend the rest of eternity in the same place, seeing the same people do the same thing EVERY day.
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I haven't laughed so hard in a very long time. What a terrific concept! In the end, the weatherman found out what we all need to learn - that human beings are important, that we need to put ourselves out in meeting the needs of others. It is in reaching out to others that we find "what goes around, comes around"...it will come back to your own door. Told in a very funny way, it is a delightful story.
I'm totally obsessed with this movie; I must have seen it start-to-finish over 25 times. Boy, did I want to like this Collectors' Edition DVD, but sadly, I must announce that it's a let-down. I'm talking about this edition, not the film itself, which other reviewers have adequately discussed.One thing you should be warned about: the extra features that come with this DVD, such as the documentary, "The Weight of Time," and the "director's running commentary" option ... blow.The documentary was filmed just last year (2001), and many of the characters and crew don't seem to remember much about the movie, except in general terms. Bill Murray himself doesn't deign to make an appearance, even though it is frequently alleged that this film represents the best work of his now-defunct career. And this is NOT the "Making of Groundhog Day" documentary that ran on HBO when that network released the film; I have no idea where to get that well-made and amusing documentary, but be warned that THIS is not it.You weren't missing anything from the anamorphic thing. The anamorphic was not 1.35:1, but only 1.85:1, meaning that if you've been watching this on a normal TV and VCR combination, you haven't been missing much. It's not the revelatory experience some DVD's are.Another thing that annoyed me to no end: many of the scenes that were not included in the final cut of the movie do not find their way onto this Collectors' Edition DVD as deleted scenes. Why not? Their existence is certain: you can hear Harold Ramis mention several of them on his commentary track. Among the scenes I would have liked to see: Bill Murray trashing his room (instead of merely breaking the pencil in half), and him presiding over a Fellini-esque bacchanal of freaks and cripples in his room at Mrs. Lancaster's! For uber-fans of the film, it is immensely disappointing that these scenes were not included, since it is difficult to see how we will ever get to see them now.As for Ramis's commentary, it is lazy and uninteresting. There are a few moments when he shares information that you otherwise wouldn't have known (unless you've seen that HBO documentary), but for the most part his monologue is characterized by simply telling us what's going to happen, explaining what's fully obvious, echoing the lines of the characters, or simply leaving us with long periods of silence.I expect nothing but non-stop talking when directors do their commentaries. And friend and I were watching this, and we both FORGOT that we were watching it with the director's commentary. "Talk, screwball!" we both shouted. One shouldn't be able to get into the movie with this option on, but here his comments were either so sparse or perfunctory that we found ourselves able to.My rating for the movie itself couldn't be higher. I just feel these "special features" weren't worth the wait.
Okay, I'm going to have to ask you to bear with me past the opening line of this review : Groundhog Day is perhaps the most underappreciated movie of the 90s and one of the best comedies since Hollywood's Golden Age, a film Frank Capra would have been proud of making. Did I lose you? Rolling on the ground laughing? Does the very concept of Bill Murray and Harold Ramis making one of the great films of all time strike you as too absurd for words? Well, hold on, and try this : forget everything you know about the movie and just listen to a brief description : A monstrously self-centered TV personality is sent to small town America to cover a hokey holiday. He's accompanied by a too-innocent-to-be-believed, but button-cute, producer and a smart-alecky camera man. Trapped by a snow storm, which he had erroneously predicted would miss the region, our egomaniac is forced to spend the night in town and, when he awakes, finds to his horror that he's reliving the same day over again. And reliving, and reliving, and reliving.... At first, he takes some enjoyment in the seeming prescience this provides him and he takes great liberties once he realizes that he will never have to face the consequences for any action he takes, because tomorrow never comes. Though his producer is quite obviously repelled by his self-centered nature, he eventually discovers that he can worm his way into her affections by dating her over and over again and discovering her likes and dislikes, since she, of course, remembers nothing of the prior dates. Yet, even with all this effort, he is unable to win her, because he remains, fundamentally, obnoxious. Forced to confront his own unpleasantness and unlovability and the essential emptiness of his life, the man, aware now that he hates himself, tries to commit suicide, in various and sundry ways, but always awakens to greet the dawning of the new/old day. And so now, at last, his efforts turn to self-improvement, rather than to self-aggrandizement, and to helping others rather than to satisfying his own urges. His dilemma forces him to move beyond himself and to serve others. Where he once avoided the people of the town like the plague, he is now become an integral part of their community, and where he once saw the producer as merely an object of his lust, he now proves himself worthy of her love. The next morning, time resumes its regular progression and he resumes his life, a better man. Honestly, doesn't that sound like a Capra flick, starring Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur? In fact, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis have made enough dogs, separately and together, to warrant your healthy skepticism, but Murray's performance here is generally under control and Ramis seldom stoops to gags and pratfalls. There's a big upside to the nasty edge that Murray always carries with him; we're prone to forgetting just how dark Jimmy Stewart's screen persona often tended to be, from explosive and suicidal, like George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life, to voyeuristic and manipulative, in Rear Window, to domineering and obsessive, in Vertigo. Andie MacDowell, on the other hand, is a tad too vacuous to counterbalance Murray effectively, but that's a tolerable flaw since it's very much Murray's movie. Still not convinced? Here's my last try : how many recent films, nevermind comedies, actually have a story arc where the main character, instead of going through some process of healing his inner child, or whatever, improves himself by becoming a better member of society? What's the last comedy you saw that both made you laugh and made you think? (Heck, how many do either?) If you think about it, this movie runs counter to two of the worst trends in modern culture, the appalling focus on the self, and the annoying tendency to dumb art down so that it can be marketed across societal and national borders without losing anything in the translation. Make a movie for the purposes of selling it to teens and to China and you're going to have to go with scatology instead of metaphysics. Thus, it's increasingly rare to find a movie that requires that your synapses actually be firing, much less one that causes them to fire more quickly.NBC has done something quite savvy and socially useful in recent years; they've turned It's a Wonderful Life into a Christmas-time event. Sure it was great when local PBS stations played it incessantly and we all learned the script by heart, but there's something more appealing about turning it into a shared viewing experience for the nation, one that hundreds of thousands of homes are tuned into at the same time. We've so few rituals left that bind us together as a community that perhaps one of the best services the television networks can provide is to establish a few holiday traditions, revolving around movies, or other specials, that they'd show yearly. Besides Wonderful Life and TNT's Christmas Story marathon and ABC's showing of The Ten Commandments around Passover, someone could show Gettysburg on the 4th of July; PBS could re-air Eyes on the Prize around Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; show Young Abraham Lincoln on President's Day; etc., etc., etc..... And show Groundhog Day you know when--it's a classic, let's treat it like one. No, seriously...GRADE : A
A fantastic premise done up with comedy and irony: when Phil (Murray)subtly hints at the beginning how repetitive his 4th time (4thyear)reporting in that little town for Groundhog Day seems to be, hehas no clue as to what's in store - what repetition really is. This isthe amusing version of the chilling half-hour version of "12:01" wherethe poor guy repeats an hour. There was also a more mundane "12:01" TVmovie, also with one day being repeated, which was still entertaining.But this has Murray, who besides expectedly delivering all the goods onthe funny aspects of the same day premise, has to also convey some ofthe wistfulness and despair associated with such a dilemma. To thefilm's credit, the story doesn't hold back on showing the fullpotential of such a wild concept: Phil relives the same day for years,gaining new talents & disciplines in the process, and running throughthe whole gamut of emotional arcs as all that special time passes:shock, bewilderment, recklessness, debauchery, suicide (theaforementioned despair), delusions of godhood and finally a kind ofserene acceptance of his strange situation - this last can be construedas 'giving in' to the cosmic joke or lesson played on him.The story has some minor weaknesses: most viewers will notice, forexample, after a 2nd viewing, that Phil's music teacher is takingcredit for his musical genius at the end even though, for her, only oneday of teaching has occurred. Surely, Phil showed her he was very adeptat the start of the lesson (unless, he feigned total ignorance of musicat the start of the lesson and let her think he so improved after acouple of hours - but this leaps into silliness). There also seems tobe a scene missing with respect to Phil's relationship with Rita(MacDowell). I never was clear as to how or why Phil became enamored ofher and eventually in love. Of course, he must have been observing herfor many days as his day repeated until he came to this realization,but still, this happens suddenly and without any hint of such feelingssurfacing prior to his calling her name while making out with anotherwoman. But, overall, the concept was well thought out and well writtenfor this version. As with the better films with such far-out concepts,questions arise afterward - why Phil? Does this happen to other people?To many other people? To everyone at some point? When will it happen tome? It's also a convenient explanation for the deja vu syndrome.
GROUNDHOG DAY (1993) continues the tradition of 80's-style comediessuch as THE BLUES BROTHERS (1980), GHOSTBUSTERS (1984) and SCROOGED(1988), although there is a major difference. This one is based on anamazing concept, and has much more ambitious, existentialistic themes,almost in the vein of art-house movies, yet without ever feelingpretentious. It manages to be as thought-provoking and clever as moviesby Stanley Kubrick, Michael Haneke or Lars von Trier, but it's told insuch a light manner that it's much easier to grasp for mainstreamaudiences. Therefore it's able to almost sneak its themes in on those,who perhaps aren't normally used to thinking about the movies theywatch. To me that's a great accomplishment in itself. GROUNDHOG DAYshows how we shouldn't take the important things for granted, that weshould make the most of the time we are given on Earth, and that if theworld feels like a terrible place, the changes must come from withinyourself.It's a movie which different people will interpret different meaningsfrom. It tells the story of Phil Connors (Bill Murray), an arrogant andegocentric TV weatherman, who goes on an assignment in Punxsutawney,Pennsylvania, where he mysteriously gets forced to live through thesame day over and over, apparently with no possibility to break theloop. This gives him the opportunity to explore life withoutconsequences. At first he takes advantage of his situation by stealingmoney, becoming a drunk, and even committing suicide. Yet Phil soonrealizes that his hostility towards the world isn't really because ofthe world, it's because of himself. The lesson is that he must changewithin to get together with his dream-woman and live happily everafter. Phil is not supposed to make her like him, he's supposed to makehimself a likable guy. If you are constantly angry at the world thensearch within yourself, because that's most likely where the problemexists.GROUNDHOG DAY is Harold Ramis's greatest movie yet. It far exceeds hisother comedies, which are funny movies, but without the grandiosity ofthis one, in terms of the unique idea and themes. Of course DannyRubin's ingenious manuscript has to receive credits as well, as it isbasically the premise of the whole movie. Bill Murray, who is one of myfavorite actors, is perfect as the Phil Corners character. Murray isable to express more than thousands of words with his eyes, and hissense of irony is fully exploited. The cameo-roles are full of comediccharacter-actors such as Chris Elliott, Harold Ramis (the director) andStephen Tobolowsky. Pure genius! 10/10
Imagine someone who is a real self-centered jerk who suddenly gets caught in a time warp that causes him to repeat the same day over and over and over until he gets it right. That is the fertile scenario that Bill Murray finds himself in when he wakes up repeatedly on Groundhog Day. The first part of the movie sets the stage as we see Bill as a big-shot big-city weatherman trying to score with the young, attractive assistant producer. They go to Puxsatawny, PA to cover the annual groundhog event along with their whimsical cameraman. Things don't go well in his quest for seduction and he is shocked to discover that when he wakes up tommorrow it's yesterday. There is a great deal of humor that comes from all of this as everybody does everything they did that day except our bewildered weatherman. In time he discovers some advantages in this merry-go-round. For example, he arranges to start taking piano lessons. By the time it's all over, he has become quite the maestro though he has yet to reach tommorrow. However, his repeated attempts to seduce the assistant producer keep coming up short. He starts learning some important lessons about himself and others in this repetative day he's stuck in. Though he improves so much as a person he is still stuck on what's best for him. The moment he finally does something that's truly selfless, the next day arrives. I really enjoyed this movie and it is one of those movies that improves with each viewing. I considered rating it higher but, apart from Bill Murray, the acting wasn't quite that spectacular. It's a terrific movie for Bill Murray fans and it has a message that should appeal to everyone.
[A] great American comedy.
It got me babe. Love watching it over and over again too. Great story. If you only had one day left to live (maybe you do, you never know), what would you do with it? Covet the material things? Despair and just give up? Or would you be the best person you could possibly be? A message for all.
This movie has an excellent plot that makes you think after you've seen it. If you were stuck in the same day over and over, would you use it to your advantage and not worry about the consequences (because there aren't any), or would you try and become a better person. But anyway, this is a nice movie (there's a real shortage of those). It doesn't really on swearing to be funny, and the romance isn't full of sex. The only downer is that it gets a bit too bogged down in the romance side (which is a lot less funny).
It is a very memorable movie. Hey, Bill Murray! Sonny and Cher on the radio? Come on! What more can you ask for? I can watch it at least once a year. Very nostalgic, classic.
I don't know what it is about this movie. I don't particularly like AndieMcDowell - and yet she also shows-up in one of my other favorites, Fourweddings and a funeral.Anyway, I have seen this movie, probably more times than any other movie andit STILL makes me laugh and I STILL smile at all the romantic bits and thesad bits.Simply outstanding. A must-see, over and over and over...
I was recommended this as a easy-to-watch comedy, on my first watch I'dprobably give it about 7. I had identified the obvious comedy side toit. But on my 2nd run, I found this an amazing un-natural filmexperience to it. It was so incredible, everything was perfect and itwavered around so many genres. The obvious side had evaporated from it,but the true inner-self had been unleashed to me. This is probably oneof my favourite films because of that.Bill Murray is perfect excellence in his role and his chemistry withAndie McDoawell is lovely. Everyone else in their roles, don't give outoutstanding performances, but they generally feel like real-life peoplethat surround you almost un-noticed in your own life. And learningabout themselves is wonderful too.It's a shame this film is so underrated, because I feel it needs to beappreciated just in the way I feel about it now. So watch it a secondtime and you'll be greatly surprised.
I would love to shake the hand of whoever came up with the idea for this film. It is by far the most original and creative comedy I have ever seen. It always surprises me when people don't name it with the usual suspects of classic comedies like Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, and The Blues Brothers.The best part is that the idea was executed flawlessly. The writing, the situations Phil is put in, and the absolute deadpan humor that Bill Murray is able to deliver are simply unparalleled. There is really nothing else to say. This film could not be improved.I find only a small amount of irony in the statement that I have seen this film over and over again, never getting tired of it.
No one invented quite such an original premise as is depicted in this movie. And it works great as a chaser after seeing "I Heart Huckabees." It's every bit as existential, and frames a proposition for personal growth out of a nightmarish stagnation as compared to the complete freedom of time enjoyed by the "Huckabees" folks.No matter where you go, there you are. Each film says that it is up to us to make something better. This film says that once you get to a place of generosity, other-centeredness and relentless good will, you can be redeemed - if only to figure out anew what to do with all the time we've been given.
What would you do if you had to relive the same day over and over?Would you go insane? Kill yourself? Fall in love? On one of PhilConners least favorite days of the year, February 2, he reports theweather just like he does every other day. But somehow he makes itthrough the day with his sarcastic comments and bad-mannered nature,waiting for tomorrow; hoping it is better. But tomorrow never comes.This movie brings so much more to the table than one would expect. BillMurray is perfect in the lead role who learns important lessonsthroughout. The fact this it is labeled as a comedy is one that I thinkis wrong; that is merely one of the qualities that it offers. It ishilarious, heart breaking, touching, and inspiring, all of which Iwould hope to see in a film. I loved it so much that I even want to putthe song "I Got You Babe" as my alarm in the morning.
This review is from: Groundhog Day (DVD) I bought this for my husband, who absolutely loves it. Each time you see it, you catch more humor. A definite classic.
How can you keep from loving a movie that can take a person living the same day over and over again and make it an edge-of-your-seat, what-can-possibly-happen-next kind of film? Ramis should be recognized as a true genius for his ability to develop this wonderfully innovative story line into a full length feature film. I say this because I expected Ground Hog Day (GHD) to become repetitious, and it never does, except where the repetition is an integral part of the gag.Further, the movie has a beautiful spiritual overtone to it: we watch Murray's character, Phil Collins, unfold as he learns to handle the immortality of Soul. GHD has chronicled the stages of man as he evolves from ignorant bliss to living with pure love in the moment! This movie should be required viewing for psychology students.Unlike other Murray films (who seems to be cast in these kinds of spiritual roles), the spiritual treatment of GHD never gets manic (like the end of Scrooged), or into some really heavy moments (like The Razor's Edge). Whether this welcome change reflects Murray's growth or that of the writers is something only they know, but I like it.The Razor's Edge is one of my favorites too because of it's deep spiritual message, but not one that I'd watch with any one at any time as I would with GHD. In fact, the biggest "problem" I have with GHD is that I find myself watching it over and over and over... I suspect that you will too!
I'll not repeat the others, and instead will be brief. This movie iswell-written, well-acted, and even has great music (everything from NatKingCole to Ray Charles to Rachmaninoff). It'll make you think, make youlaugh(a lot), and even tug at your heart a bit. If nothing else, see thismoviejust to witness Stephen Tobolowsky (as Ned Ryerson) steal scenes from BillMurray. Think that's easy?? Great film!
I must admit this movie was one of my favorites when I was a teenager.I'm just watching it again, and I felt it necessary to review thisfilm, as the effect has not only not faded away, but actually made thejokes more powerful - as I grasp on them differently, more fully. Bill Murry's jerk character is so hilarious and original, and his linesare so funny that you cannot resist liking him. On the other handAndy's angelic, curly haired, innocent face opposes this brut.I think one of the smartest ideas is that the setting is pure andsimple: it could be anywhere BUT nowhere important. Of course, it isimportant for our character to get stuck in the middle of nowhere - asof course it wouldn't come as a curse to spend every day on a niceisland or a big city. Here monotomy hits us hard. And here comes thematurity: people in their 30s, 40s can easily get the metaphor: that'every day looks the same'. We work, sleep, eat, .... and what else?Something is missing, right? It takes an eternity to realize that thereare more important things, human relations, remembering who we are,what makes us happy - and the full capacity of love. This deepermessage is nicely wrapped in a funny storytelling, and even morehilarious actions. I don't think we have to simplify it for a "bad" manbecoming "good", more virtous, but rather waking up from his own'groundhog' sleep, a sleep in which he has been spending most of hislife....Have fun, and don't be afraid of your own shadow:)
Groundhog Day is of the funniest movies ever released or even remotelythought up of by cinema makers. Bill Murray is at his greatest withoutstanding lines of sarcastic replies and obvious insults to whoever hisvictim may be. Harold Ramis wrote and directed this film, as he has so manyother fine pieces of film. Ramis also had a small role as a doctor in thisfilm. Andie McDowel had a key role in this movie as the woman Murray'scharacter is in love with. I usually find McDowel's accent and her actingquite annoying, but this is one of her better films. Saturday Night Live'sChris Elliott had a supporting role as "Larry" and he played his part verywell. I believed he was better than Andie McDowel in some certain points.There is nothing that is not funny about this very entertaining film.Groundhog Day is about one man's experience through a day of hell that willnever end- Groundhog Day. He tries to shoot,electrocute,stap,get run over bya Semi truck, but he always wakes up on one day- Groundhog Day. The"Academy" failed to award an outstanding film the awards it deserved.Groundhog Day is a film that all should experience. Bill Murray willdefinitely make you laugh. I would highly recommend that you rent this filmbecause it is a highly wonderful piece of entertainment that all will enjoy!