(Bill Murray and Phil in ‘Groundhog Day.’ Source: IMDb)
Have you ever watched, over and over, that film about a weatherman who keeps living the same day, over and over?
Of course, we’re talking about Groundhog Day (1993) with Bill Murray as Phil Connors, the dour local TV weather personality who is assigned – or sentenced – to cover a small town’s celebration of another Phil, a furry rodent famous for emerging from his slumber every February 2 to predict how long winter will last.
Caught in a karmic causality loop, Phil Connors awakens every day to find himself reliving the same 24 hours again and again. Through each repeated day, Phil tries different things, at first out of sheer desperation, to escape his repetitive fate. He soon begins to use his unique dilemma to his advantage, learning lessons of self-knowledge and self-improvement. How many tries will it take Phil to get things right?
An ingenious comedy, it takes more than one viewing to appreciate the ideas and jokes packed into Groundhog Day.
The cast includes Andie MacDowell as Phil’s producer Rita, whom Murray woos through a succession of do-overs; Chris Elliot as TV crew member Larry; Brian Doyle-Murray (Bill’s brother and fellow SNL alum) as Groundhog Day master of ceremonies Buster Green; and Stephen Tobolowsky as Ned Ryerson, Phil’s annoying former high-school classmate.
This Groundhog Day also happens to be Super Bowl Sunday. Not a football fan? You can always watch Groundhog Day — again and again.
The groundhog wasn’t Murray’s first encounter with a rodent.
In Caddyshack (1980), he played golf course groundskeeper Carl Spackler, who faced off with a gopher.
(The above is an updated version of a previously published article.)
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