Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is a 1993 comedy distributed by Columbia Pictures.  Some of its stars include Bill Murray as Phil Connors, Andie MacDowell as Rita, Chris Elliott as Larry, Stephen Tobolowsky as Ned, Brian Doyle-Murray as Buster, and Marita Geraghty as Nancy.  The movie is produced by Trevor Albert (Multiplicity), C.O. Erickson (Project X), Harold Ramis (Year One), and Whitney White (Stuart Saves His Family).  The director is Harold Ramis.

 The story starts out in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but soon moves to Punxsutawney, home of the world-famous groundhog.  Phil Connors is a narcissistic weatherman from Pittsburgh who hates going to the small town every year to cover the festival.  When it’s over, he can’t wait to leave until one year he’s unable to due to a blizzard.  He returns to his bed-and-breakfast to retire for the evening.  When he wakes up the next morning, he receives a shock.  Apparently, yesterday never happened.  Phil doesn’t believe it until he leaves and discovers that the same people are in the same places as they had been the day before.  Upon waking up the following morning, while hearing the same song “I got you, babe” on the radio the conceited weatherman begins to think he is going crazy.  As the day keeps repeating over and over again, Phil tries everything from living life without worrying about consequences to suicide, but nothing works.  He is apparently stuck in a time-warp.

Having a man like Phil Connors live a day that he despises over and over again may have been a message from the “man upstairs”.  He could have been telling Phil that the universe does not revolve around him and he should start treating other people as well as himself better.  Eventually, Phil gets this message and does begin treating other people better.  He starts going around Punxsutawney doing favors for complete strangers like when he changes the tire of a car with some elderly women inside.  Also, the weatherman saves Buster Green, the organizer of the Groundhog Day festivities, when he nearly chokes to death.  Additionally, he tries to better himself by picking up some hobbies like ice-sculpting, playing the piano, and studying poetry. 

One supporting character that I found particularly interesting was Phil’s cameraman Larry, portrayed by Chris Elliott.  Larry is always making jokes at Phil’s expense, especially when he is claiming how great he is.  It could be said that the cameraman was the one person who tried to keep Phil down to earth.  Larry makes a joke early in the film after Phil says that a lot of networks are interested in him.  He says, “Yeah, that would be the Home Shopping Network!”  When they arrive at the hotel, Phil compliments  Rita the producer on her ability to keep the talent happy.  After the conceited weatherman gets in the van Larry says, “Did he just call himself the talent?”  Later on, Rita says to Larry that there may be something “really wrong with Phil” to which the cameraman replies, “There’s a lot of things really wrong with Phil.” 

To wrap, I believe Groundhog Day is a great family movie that every film viewer, especially Bill Murray fans, would enjoy!

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