Groundhog Day (1993) Review

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I have seen this before.

Groundhog Day (1993): 10 out of 10: Bill Murray is a weatherman who, with his crew (Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott), gets trapped in Punxsutawney, PA by a snowstorm after covering the annual titular Groundhog Day festivities. When Murray wakes up the next morning it slowly dawns on him it is Groundhog Day yet again and he isn’t just stuck in town, he is stuck in time. 

The Good

The Good: Every autumn newspapers and websites will point out those wacky colleges with their wacky classes. You know the What if Harry Potter is Real? at Appalachian State Univ. or Philosophy and ‘Star Trek’ at Georgetown. I would take a course that examines the philosophy behind Groundhog Day. Heck, I might join a religion that embraces the same.

It is such a simple premise and yet Director Harold Ramis and star Bill Murray take it some many wonderful wacky ways. In reality, for most of us through most of our lives we live the experience of Groundhog Day. Every day is the same. With the same people and the same conversations in the same town eating the same food. The twist is that in Groundhog Day the universe resets at 6:00 am to the tune of “I’ve Got You Babe”. As a result there are no consequences for your actions. You learn from the previous day and the board is reset with no one the wiser. This allows the character to go to a dark place of human nature (This being a romantic comedy Murray really doesn’t go very dark). 

Groundhog Day predates modern choice-based video games by around ten years yet it is a prime example of (to steal from TV Tropes) Save Scumming to get that Golden Ending. Keep repeating the same actions repeatedly till you get that perfect ending or in the ways of my new Groundhog Day religion… Nirvana. 

The Bad

The Bad: Well, it is a nineties Romantic Comedy, so the soundtrack has to be awful. Not Bridget Jones Diary awful mind you “(It’s Raining Men… really?) but pretty awful just the same. There is a Nat King Cole song at the end (but of course there is) and that Sonny and Cher earworm mentioned above but it is Delbert McClinton that wins the top honor with a horrible funk mess containing on the nose lyrics called “The Weatherman”.

The Ugly

The Ugly: Before you go to bed think of how many actual days take place over the course of the movie…. Yeah, that is frightening.

In Conclusion

In Conclusion: Before ya all go reboot this with Jonah Hill or something please keep in mind this movie only works with Murray. He is perfect for the role and the role is perfect for him. Anything else is heresy.

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[…] 12:01 (1993): 6 out of 10: As made for television sci-fi films go this is defiantly one of the better ones. The sense of déjà vu one gets from watching it however is not necessarily from the same day repeating plot device but from the invariable comparisons to Groundhog Day. […]