Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Barry of The Filmnomore Movie Blog. Thanks for the review, Barry! 🙂 Now let’s see what he has to say about Groundhog Day, IMDB rank 178 out of 250…
There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list of remaining films HERE. See the full list & links to all the reviews that have already been done HERE. Also, if you’d like to add a link to your IMDB review(s) on your own blogs, feel free to use any of the logos I’ve used at the top of any of these guest reviews.
**I have 1 remaining IMDB guest review to post but have a lot still outstanding. Let me know if you still wish to review the movie(s) you’ve signed up for. If not, I’ll add them back to the list of available films. Thanks!**
I was delighted when I discovered I had been granted the rights to review this classic 90’s comedy. Groundhog Day stars Bill Murray as cynical local news weatherman Phil Connors who sees himself as the big fish in the little pond of Pittsburgh. He is on his way to endure the annual ritual that is Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania where an oversized rodent (I’ve checked Groundhogs are rodents) predicts whether winter is coming to an end. Unfortunately Phil finds himself having to relive the same day over and over again.
The film sees Murray teaming up with his now dearly departed Ghostbusters (1984) co-star Harold Ramis who directed and co-wrote this feature. It’s amazing to look back at the writing career of Ramis whose credits include Caddyshack (1980), Stripes (1981), Analyze This (1999) and Bedazzled (2000) to name just four. Groundhog Day follows a classic rift of a character (Phil) going on a journey of self discovery that has been imposed upon him by a change in circumstances. He finds himself coming out the other side a better person and as with any fairy tale he has a princess to woo in the form of his producer Rita (Andie MacDowell).
Of course the journey to love and happiness is not a straight forward one and it is only when he learns the importance of being selfless that Phil is released from his nightmare and he can continue with his life. Within this age old tale of redemption is a story about dealing with loss. In Groundhog Day the loss is the life that he knew and the certainties this brought. During the film Murray’s character experiences denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. He acts out in various ways including the now classic sequence when he abducts the Groundhog himself, Punxsutawney Phil.
This film works for two main reasons. The first is that it has Bill Murray in his prime (I don’t get along with the reinvented dour-faced Murray) and playing a role tailored to his style of comedy. The second reason is the film uses a classic structure that we’ve all seen a thousand times before but keep lapping up. We all appear to be suckers for characters who find redemption (preferably in the arms of a new lover) and Groundhog Day delivers the feel good factor in spades.
I can’t really find much to criticise in this film beyond the slightly annoying Ned Ryerson (Stephen Tobolowsky) who is just that little bit over the top. Hell even MacDowell is tolerable. Groundhog Day doesn’t overwhelm me with emotion so I can’t give it that elusive fifth star but it is an all time comedy classic. My rating 4/5.