Starring: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott
Director: Harold Ramis
Running Time: 101 mins
Groundhog Day is an American film about a negative, depressed network weatherman who travels to an annual festival in Pennsylvania, only to find himself living that same day over and over and over again.
Groundhog Day is an American film about a negative, depressed network weatherman… (See what I did there?)
Anyway, this is an absolutely hilarious and original modern classic. With a brilliant central performance from Bill Murray, perhaps his best, and a strong supporting role from Andie MacDowell, this is a very convincing and intelligent story, despite its premise being totally preposterous and fantastical.
You can see just how brilliant this film is by the cultural impact that it’s had, standing strong 20 years later. The phrase ‘groundhog day’ originates from this film, and its incredibly original concept at the time is now a cultural icon.
One of the reasons that its concept is pulled off so effectively is its brilliant screenplay. This whole concept may seem incredibly repetitive when you think of it, however the fast-paced nature of the story makes it whiz along fast enough to completely dispel the threat of it feeling at all repetitive.
Also, the fast cutting of a lot of Bill Murray’s escapades during the one day makes it a lot more funny and entertaining to watch, as you get literally hundreds of mad actions thrown at you very rapidly, turning this into a laugh-a-minute film with a lot of variety in something that could have run a high risk of being quite dull.
Meanwhile, the setting in the snowy town of Punxustawney in early February gives it a very Christmassy feel. That really helps to give it a bit more of an upbeat and warm feel despite often being quite dark and dramatic, and it also seems to give it, rather oddly, a more iconic status.
Finally, the reason that this stands out so much from so many other comedies like this is that it really has a strongly profound message. It feels, at times, like A Christmas Carol, as it teaches you all about doing good for others and respecting them in order to allow your own wishes to come true.
Overall, then, this gets an 8.4, because it is an interesting, hugely original, well-acted and hilarious film that will really stand up as a modern classics.