10 Reasons Why We All Love Groundhog Day

Happy Groundhog Day!


Just kidding... it is, of course, actually the 3rd of February. 


I watched Groundhog Day last night for what must be the millionth time. I just love this film so much.


Of course, I am not alone. So many people love this movie - and for so many reasons.


Here are just ten of them:


10 Reasons Why We All Love Groundhog Day

1. Bill Murray As Phil Connors

Groundhog Day just wouldn't be the movie it is without Bill Murray's superb performance as Phil Connors. He is just perfect in this role.


However, Murray wasn't the first choice for Phil. The filmmakers also considered Tom Hanks, John Travolta and Steve Martin for the part. Can you imagine? Me neither!


2. Best Movie Moment Ever Featuring A Groundhog Driving A Truck 

Bill Murray is not the only Phil in Groundhog Day, of course.


There is also Punxsutawney Phil - or Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary to be precise.


Did you know that an entire family of groundhogs were bred for this movie?


My favourite scene featuring the two Phils is the one where human Phil hog-naps groundhog Phil and they speed away in a truck together.


Of course this doesn't exactly end well for either of them, but that's okay - they both get to live another day.



3. Ned Ryerson

Do I need to say any more? How funny are the scenes between Phil Connors and Ned Ryerson (Stephen Tobolowsky)? Makes me laugh out loud every time. 


Groundhog Day's director, Harold Ramis, explained that comedian Tobolowsky was the perfect choice for this role and described his performance as the "spice  in the stew". 


4. Suicidal Rasputin Reference

A huge part of the fun of Groundhog Day is watching how Phil Connors spends his days. He goes through many phases from disbelief to anarchy, from petty crime to nihilism. 


In a desperate attempt to avoid Sonny and Cher, Phil tries suicide. He actually makes a series of attempts in a number of increasingly dramatic ways. Did you know that some of these were methods inspired by Rasputin would-be killers (stabbed, shot, poisoned and frozen)?


5. Super Subtext

Groundhog Day is a hilarious and entertaining film to watch. However, for many, this movie means a whole lot more.


For example, many believe that Groundhog Day has a deeper religious subtext - Christian, Jewish, Buddhist take your pick. 


In addition, the film has been linked to the concepts and theories of psychoanalysis. 


Perhaps, like many good film, you take away from Groundhog Day what you bring.


6. 38 Days In Punxsutawney?

Just how much time does Phil Connors spend in Punxsutawney on 2nd February?


Well, if you count what you actually seen in the movie, it comes to 38 days. However, the reality is much, much more than that. 


The film's original script had Phil Connors repeating the same day for 10,000 years. 10,000 years!

But after much debate and conjecture, Harold Ramis said that he believed the figure would be closer to 30-40 years.


7. The Feels

One of the reasons why I love to watch Groundhog Day, apart from the fact that it is wickedly funny, is for its feel good factor. It reminds me of a Christmas movie in that way - only this is something you can watch all year round - no judgement!


8. The I'm A God Scene

Midway through Groundhog Day, Phil Connors comes to the conclusion that he is, in fact, god. Not the God, you understand, but a god.


Then follows a wonderful scene when he takes Rita (Andie Macdowell) through the restaurant and tells her all about the innermost desires of its patrons. Such a classic Bill Murray moment.  


9. How We Really Feel About Alarm Clocks

Phil Connors grows to hate his alarm clock and in a classic scene lets his true feelings out. Brilliant - isn't this something we have all felt at some point?


10. Inspirational Groundhog Day 

Groundhog Day has inspired much love and debate in the years since its cinematic release in 1993. The time loop concept has, of course, been much used since then - for example in Edge Of Tomorrow, Source Code and Triangle.


The movie is also the basis for a self help book - Paul Hannam's The Wisdom Of Groundhog Day: How To Improve Your Life One Day At A Time.


Hannam developed his self help programme by utilising what he sees is the hidden, underlying road map found within the film. Groundhog Day as a parable for change and appreciating what really matters in life? Genius.


I am sure that there are many more reasons why we all love Groundhog Day so much.


Can you think of any more? If you can, let me know in the comments section below! 



Film Search


Jane Douglas-Jones
Jane Douglas-Jones

E: jane@500daysoffilm.com


This site contains my own

thoughts and opinions on

films. Other opinions are

available but may not be correct.