One of my all-time favorite comedies and Bill Murray films, GROUNDHOG DAY is hilarious, over and over and over again.
Murray's terrific as cynical, in a rut TV weatherman Phil Conners, dripping sarcasm with every comment and burned out on covering local stories.
When he lands in Punxsutawney, PA to see whether "the weather forecasting rat" sees Spring or Winter, he gets snowed in with his team, producer Rita (Andie McDowell) and cameraman Larry (the hilarious Chris Elliott).
Inexplicably, Phil wakes up every morning to the hotel clock radio screaming "I Got You Babe" and has the same exact day over and over.
That sounds boring, but its laugh out loud funny every time. "Phiillllll? Is That You!?" from insurance salesman Ned "The Head" Reyerson, the puddle, Mrs. Lancaster at the bed & breakfast. (Phil: Do you ever have déjà vu, Mrs. Lancaster?
Mrs. Lancaster: I don't think so, but I could check with the kitchen.), they're flawlessly executed by Murray and cast, along with Director Harold Ramis (Stripes, Ghostbusters).
There are some great moments when Phil decides to manipulate his knowledge of what's coming to his benefit, all played for well deserved comic payoff. Murray is fantastic from start to finish.
While he and McDowell reportedly did not care for each other on set, they have great chemistry on screen.
What a comic dream cast. Elliott (David Letterman, Cabin Boy) is hilarious, Stephen Tobolowsky (The Goldbergs) is LOL funny as Ned and comics Rick Ducommun and Rick Overton deliver in their supporting roles. Watch closely for Michael Shannon in his film debut as Fred the Newlywed.
By the time it rolls into its perfect ending, blending a bit of drama & romance in with the laughs, you're ready for it to start all over again.
Ramis and Murray have talked about how easy it would have been to let the film go much darker, since Phil could have got away with anything and just woke up the next day with a restart. Fascinating to think what twisted dark comedy lies on the other side of that invention.
Damn near perfect just the way it is, GROUNDHOG DAY gets an A.