500 Days Of Film Reviews Comedy Classic, Groundhog Day, Starring Bill Murray
Happy Groundhog Day! Yes it is 2nd February once again and time to watch Harold Ramis' enduring comedy classic starring the incomparable Bill Murray.
However, if you are in any doubt about whether to watch Groundhog Day, here are ten reasons why you absolutely should...
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 Groundhog Driving A Truck Movie Moment... Ever
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 comes from 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 films, you take away from Groundhog Day what you, yourself, bring to the movie.
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 I love to watch Groundhog Day, apart from the fact that it is wickedly funny, is the film's 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 program 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!