Hes having the day of his life over and over again.
Running Time: 97 minutes
UK Certificate: PG
Country: United States
If you were to combine a Frank Capra-esque feel-good tale with some sharp, sarcastic and at times cruel humour, its hard to imagine the result being too far different from Harold Ramis delightful Groundhog Day.
Bill Murray, in probably the most memorable role of his career outwith the Ghostbusting arena, shines as Phil Connors, the super-cynical TV weatherman forced to repeat the same day time and time again. Its February 2nd which, to the people of the small town of Punxsutawney, means Groundhog Day an annual opportunity to watch an over-sized squirrel predict the weather. For Phil, though, it means waking every morning to Sonny and Cher, endlessly trying to explain his situation to his bemused workmates (Andie MacDowell and Chris Elliott), generally living through the worlds most critical case of déjà vu.
This movie contains some remarkably dark moments, most notably when Phil loses all hope and begins daily making his way through all number of fruitless suicide attempts. What shows through, however, is the transformation in his character whilst all around him remain exactly the same, and of course his eventual romance with the bubbly but distrusting Rita (MacDowell). Murrays never exactly been one for playing the most lovey-dovey of characters, but the relationship between him and McDowell works surprisingly well.
Why is this happening to Phil? To this day, nobody knows and to be honest its not particularly important. But, much like that other Murray feel-good flick Scrooged, this is a film about changing your sneering ways and getting things right. And when Bill Murray gets things right, he really gets things right. This is easily one of the top comedies of the 90s.
It's Got: Some incredibly bad dancers look out for them bopping away at the groundhog ceremony.
It Needs: To be watched by Jim Carrey it could teach him a thing or three about how to be funny. Without just pulling faces, that is.
DVD Extras Collectors Edition A fairly run-of-the-mill behind-the-scenes documentary, audio commentary with Harold Ramis, filmographies, and a few trailers including Ghostbusters and Multiplicity. DVD Extras Rating: 5/10
A touching, thoughtful and above all funny comedy. A real classic, featuring Bill Murray at his very best.