For Reel

Groundhog Day (1993)
February 28, 2015, 2:15 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Harold Ramis
5 Stars
Groundhog DayGroundhog Day is remembered for having one of the great premises in contemporary American cinema. Although it is easily mistaken as a droll piece of cynicism, it is a coyly humanist story about what it means to live a full life. The joke of the film is the realization that Phil’s (Bill Murray) repetitive existence is not at all different from our own–defined by routines, patterns, and conversational habits–and Harold Ramis satisfies the audience’s desire to see these very recognizable structures go up in flames. It’s ironic that what is Phil’s hell (repeating the same day over and over) is the audience’s pleasure–we thrive on seeing patterns as a viewer, and noticing how small decisions impact his day makes one consider their own limitless potential within a twenty four hour period. Although Phil’s life initially seems to have no potential for growth, he makes each day a little different by going out of his way to help others and explore various intellectual pursuits. It’s a life-affirming sentiment that argues that our life is only as flavorless as we make it.