Growing up in Chicago, I quickly became a fan of Bill Murray. Much like the famous people who come out of San Diego, you feel a sort of kinship as well as pride when you see someone repping your city. And not many men are synonymous with Chicago like Murray.
The actor is at his best in “Groundhog Day” where this douchey weatherman heads to a small town for the aforementioned holiday. And while it goes by as boring as he predicted, something else extraordinary happens: he can’t move on. Every day Phil Connors wakes up at the same time to the same song and to the same people indefinitely. And if that sounds creepy, it is at first as the protagonist slowly gets used to his new life.
But as the film continues, we see Phil starting to see the advantages of reliving the same day and he begins to have a lot of fun. Whether it’s robbing dumb security guards or tricking a beautiful woman, it seems like there is nothing Phil cannot do. And of course these scenes are classic Bill Murray with his suave yet somehow wacky demeanor that confuses everyone around him.
Yet Phil’s main goal is to get with his new producer Rita Hanson. Realizing fairly quickly that she won’t be easily fooled, the weatherman uses trial and error each day to get closer to having her spend the night with him. If he accidentally insulted her or gave her the wrong food, Phil takes a mental note and comes back the next night prepared for the subsequent step. And the flow of these scenes makes them more comical because you quickly see how Phil changed his game.
Like you would expect, it doesn’t come that easy and we even see our protagonist becoming more depressed as well as “suicidal” because this day just never ends. He can’t get what he truly wants and doesn’t know how to keep going. I mean if you can’t even die, where is your escape?
Yeah it gets a bit dark at certain points but overall “Groundhog Day” is traditional Bill Murray and that’s why people think so highly of it. He plays a range of emotions while never straying too far from his comfort zone. The use of repetition and off-the-cuff jokes keeps the audience entertained as the same characters fall for the same mistakes. Yet the film does not become too predictable with enough variation each day that depicts something new. Although the ending was a little forced, “Groundhog Day” is the type of film you will enjoy watching again and again.