Release year: 1993
Director: Harold Ramis
Screenwriter: Danny Rubin, Harold Ramis
Starring: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky, Brian Doyle-Murray, Marita Geraghty, Angela Paton
Ratings: 1 Saturn Award: Best Actress (Andie MacDowell), 5 Saturn Award nomintions: Best Fantasy Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Bill Murray), Best Writing, Best Costumes.
Grumpy weatherman Phil (Bill Murray) is reluctantly sent to cover a story about ‘Groundhog Day’ in small Pennsylvanian town. After unenthusiastically going through the motions he goes to bed at the end of the day… and wakes up the next morning to the exact same day.
Harold Ramis’s fantasy dramady about a man caught in a time loop has not just been added to the United States National Film Registry, but has stolen, and continues to steal, the hearts of many, many movie lovers. The movie not only has Murray (Ghostbusters, 1984) in one of his very best performances, but hits the perfect note between funny and serious, moral lesson and slap stick humour, making it one of the finest comedies from the 1990s. Phil is a delightfully bitter, misanthropic, and cynical anti-hero, perfectly captured by Murray and his dry humour. Despite his tendency of being mean and selfish he is almost impossible not to like, managing to gain our sympathy even before he begins learning his lesson. MacDowell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, 1994), also in one of her finest moments, is well-casted as the object of Phil’s desire, while Elliott (There’s Something about Mary, 1998) lends his support to the humour of the story. The trio creates great chemistry as they unfold in a small town of great supporting characters, among others an annoying Tobolowsky (Wild Hogs, 2007), brilliant Paton (Trapped in Paradise, 1994), and a young Michael Shannon (Take Shelter, 2011) in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it movie début. Clever, incredibly sweet, and refreshingly inventiv,e it is not just a timeless classic, it is also on of the finest comedies made.
Harold Ramis and Bill Murray had a personal and professional fallout during filming making it their last collaboration. The two of them didn’t reconcile until more than 10 years after.
Picture copyright: Sony Pictures