How would it feel to wake up to the same day every day? Would you crack up at the sheer tedium of it all? Cynically exploit others (they don't know they're trapped in a time warp) with what you learned about them the day before? Or use the situation to better yourself? That's the dilemma facing misanthropic TV weatherman Phil Connors (Murray) when he once more visits the small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania - 'weather capital of the world' - to report on its annual Groundhog Day ceremony. What's so satisfying about Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis' script - besides the sheer plethora of gags - is the way it rigorously covers every last nuance of Connors' nightmarish predicament: he can drink himself legless without fear of the morning after, endlessly refine his chat-up lines, become an expert in 19th century French verse, but whatever he does he ends up back where he was on the dot of six. Ramis directs this surreal suburban fantasy with an admirably light touch, revelling in its absurd repetitions, surprising us with narrative ellipses, and allowing Murray ample space to indulge his special mix of sarcasm and smarm. But this is first and foremost a comedy of ideas, on which score it never falters.
Cast and crew
Danny Rubin, Harold Ramis
Bill Murray Andie MacDowell Chris Elliott Stephen Tobolowsky Brian Doyle-Murray Marita Geraghty