Groundhog Day (1993)
Starring: Bill Murray
Director: Harold Ramis
Groundhog Day is one of those films that have become so indwelled into our conscious minds that it has become a universally recognized metaphor for the daily tedium of our everyday lives or the feeling of being trapped. Tell someone you feel like you’re reliving Groundhog Day and immediately they will understand what you’re talking about. Like a Groundhog this movie takes its time to burrow into your mind. At first it just seems like an affable romantic comedy, good but not great, but then it stays with you. It definitely helps that it is one of the most rewatchable movies ever made, and one of the movies I have seen countless times since it came out, the most recent being last night on TV, the viewing which inspired today’s Q.D.R. The movie stars Bill Murray as a TV weatherman on assignment in Punxsutawney, Pa. to cover the annual groundhog festival, a job and town he absolutely deplores. While there, he stumbles into some kind of weird time paradox where he has to repeat this particular day of his life over and over and over again. Every morning he wakes up and hears the same Sonny and Cher song on the same radio broadcast.
He encounters the same people, doing the same things over and over and over. He finds of course that this means he can do whatever he wants each day with no consequences coming to him the next day. In his darker moments he commits suicide a dozen or more times, seduces many of the local women, who then do not recognize him the next day. However when he finally gets that out of his system, most importantly, he falls in love with his assistant, Rita, played by Andie MacDowell. At first he is just attempting to get into her pants as well, a feat that is still impossible for him even after he gets many repeated attempts to memorize all of her favorite things. A writer for BuzzFeed recently calculated just how long Murray spends re-living this same day, based on the amount of days shown and referenced in the movie, plus the time it would reasonably take to learn the many skills he picks up in the film such as learning French, Ice Sculpting, Piano Lessons etc.; and the verdict came out to around 33 total years! Bill Murray starred in an adaptation of Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” called “Scrooged” a fine movie in its own right, but in my mind it is this movie that is the twentieth century’s true living parallel to that literary classic. This is a movie which perfectly captures both the heart and the imagination and does so with an effortlessness that is truly mesmerizing.