Groundhog Day

5122m2MY0gLPhil (Bill Murray), a cynical weatherman, goes to Punxsutawney to do a report on the small town’s annual Groundhog Day celebration. Caught up in his own self-importance, he despises the friendliness of the town and its people. With a cameraman (Chris Elliott) who understands his shallow nature and his upbeat producer Rita (Andie MacDowell), Phil and his team finish the report but are unable to return to Pittsburgh due to a severe blizzard. When Phil wakes after an unwilling extra night in Punxsutawney, it is Groundhog Day again, and Phil finds himself stuck repeating the same day over and over again. At first, Phil lives destructively because he realizes he has no consequences for his actions, trying to seduce Rita by pretending to be her dream man. But as the repetition becomes more unbearable, Phil becomes hopeless and begins repeatedly killing himself in an unsuccessful attempt to escape the repetition. Eventually, however, Phil finds hope through helping others and consequently saves himself from his narcissistic lifestyle. He and Rita spend a genuine night together, and finally Phil wakes up on a new day next to her. He tells her he wants to live there.

Managing to depict a complete transition of character in a single day, Groundhog Day is a true movie classic. With Phil crashing cars and seducing women, the film has a fun beginning that gradually transitions to darker themes of despair and heartbreak, from Phil’s consistent suicide attempts to his grief over the death of a local homeless man. Despite its heavy storyline, the film maintains a lighthearted tone in its entirety, accompanying each dark point with tinges of ironic humor. Likewise, Bill Murray was perfectly cast for this role, as his likeability prevents the audience from despising his inherently despicable character. Director Harold Ramis did a commendable job of maintaining the story’s lighthearted nature without excessively watering down any of the film’s darker sequences. While repeating the same day is an inherently frustrating storyline, your frustration will not overwhelm but actually make the movie more enjoyable. In fact, by repeating the same day over and over, each scene manages to bring something new to Phil’s character development.

If you somehow haven’t seen this movie yet, open either Netflix or your DVD player right now and press play. Few movies will leave you in a better mood than this. The hopeful ending doesn’t seem forced, but genuine to Phil’s development, which leaves you feeling hopeful as a result. Outside of Phil’s enticing character development, the movie is also hilarious. Subtleties like Larry’s creepy way of hitting on Nancy and the bartender’s judgemental reactions to the strange occurrences at his bar surprise you and confirm this movie’s genre as a true dark comedy. Again, Groundhog Day is an absolute classic. Watch it once and you’ll find yourself wanting to watch the same day over and over again.

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Release Date: February 12, 1993

Starring: Bill Murray

Director: Harold Ramis

Distributor: Columbia Pictures

Genre: Comedy/Drama

Audience: Some dark content, mild sexuality

Rating: PG

Runtime: 102 minutes

Official Website: www.SonyPictures.com/Movies/GroundhogDay

IMDB Page: @Groundhog Day

Wiki Link: @Groundhog Day

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Eoin Goyette | Writing Contributor
B.A | Film & New Media Studies | UC Santa Barbara
Eoin has loved telling stories for his entire life, with his interests ranging from Swedish films to fantasy football reports. He is in his 2nd year studying Film & Media at UC Santa Barbara, where he’s a part of the honors program, Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, and many student film productions, including ones which he writes and directs himself. When he isn’t writing or watching movies, you can often catch him lost in train of thought, berating the TV during 49ers games, or shamelessly laughing at his own sarcasm. | Instagram @eoin_goyetteView My Blogs 

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