Bill Murray does warmth in his most consistently effective post-Stripes comedy, a romantic fantasy about a wacky weatherman forced to relive one strange day over and over again, until he gets it right. Snowed in during a r... more »oad-trip expedition to watch the famous groundhog encounter his shadow, Murray falls into a time warp that is never explained but pays off so richly that it doesn't need to be. The elaborate loop-the-loop plot structure cooked up by screenwriter Danny Rubin is crystal-clear every step of the way, but it's Murray's world-class reactive timing that makes the jokes explode, and we end up looking forward to each new variation. He squeezes all the available juice out of every scene. Without forcing the issue, he makes us understand why this fly-away personality responds so intensely to the radiant sanity of the TV producer played by Andie MacDowell. The blissfully clueless Chris Elliott (Cabin Boy) is Murray's nudnik cameraman. --David Chute« less
DIANE M. (bookaholic) from PARADISE, PA Reviewed on 11/10/2009...
This is by far, my favorite Bill Murray movie. He is great in it as well as Andie MacDowell and the rest of the cast. It never fails to make me laugh every time I watch it and is one of my family's all-time favorite comedies.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
"Special Edition" high and low points:
R. Treynor | Columbus, Ohio | 06/04/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm going to forego a review of the movie. Let others do that. Here's my input on the bonus stuff:What's good:
"The weight of time" documentary - What makes this documentary somewhat unique, is that it allows the screenwriter some screen time to convey what his vision of the movie would have been. It's a gutsy move that Ramis allowed this on his film, since the original concept of Groundhog Day was far darker than the final product. It's an interesting watch, although it would have been nicer if Bill Murray made an appearance in the documentary.
Director's commentary: Ramis' approach is to tell small anecdotes about minor characters, how people were cast, how the scenes were filmed, etc. It's interesting and entertaining in its own right. He doesn't just drone on and on like many directors do. I think his acting and comedy background helps make him be more interesting, personable, and accessable for viewers to listen to.What's lousy:
I'm probably alone on this, but the animated menus are annoying, silly, and slow. You have to wait for the animation to get going before you're allowed to make your choice. It'd be forgivable if there were any easter eggs hidden, but I know of none. So, it's just annoying."
One of the funniest movies EVER MADE!
Christian Hunter | Austin, TX and Santa Barbara, CA, | 03/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a die-hard movie junkie and can say without reservation that this movie is among the most hilarious ever made. The very simple story is one where Bill Murray plays a self-consumed, hyper-cynical, and arrogant weatherman with a mean streak who finds himself paying out some sort of karmic debt by having to live through the same day (Groundhog Day) again, and again, and again, and....The phenomenon strikes him with terror (few play "overwhelmed" better than Murray) at first, which is very funny material, but it's when he becomes accustomed to his seeming immortality and liberty from consequence that things really get unbearably funny.This movie is fantastic in that it can be watched casually, as it's chock full of slapstick style entertainment (no offense to Bill Murray, but just looking at his face makes me laugh, great expressions...); but what really endeared this movie to me was the lesson I think is wrapped up in all the humor. I think the movie is about "appreciation". Appreciation for the value of every days potential (I know that sounds cheesy), appreciation for those around you that so easily fall into the background from all the noise of our environment, but most of all, appreciation for the difference between doing the right thing and the wrong thing. This movie smartly creates a "clean A/B lab". In the first lab, you have a bunch of failed attempts to create the perfect day. And finally, all those attempts are contrasted against the control group...a perfectly lived day, one where all the latent opportunities we don't even see are exploited...And what a difference a day can make.I hope you enjoy as much as I did..."
Best Murray Movie Yet
SRFireside | Houston, TX United States | 12/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I might be making a bold claim saying this is the best Bill Murray film of them all. Many people would call me on that with films that showcase his sophomoric hijinks like Stripes or Ghostbusters. Some may look at his more slightly more refined character works like What About Bob? and Scrooged as their hits. To me Groundhog Day tops them all. This is because not only do you have Bill Murray doing a perfect performance, but also because the content itself (and the writing behind it) takes this movie to the next level.
Groundhog Day is a morality piece done in the vein of a classic Rod Serling's Twilight Zone episode. I kind of "what if...?" sort of tale that puts a generally successful and selfish man (played by Murray) into a hopeless situation of never being able to escape a single day in a small town. On the surface the story it looks like a situation comedy with Murray's character living the same Groundhog Day over and over. However the further you go into the movie you get some true and believable character development. The fact Bill pulls it off convincingly as well as with his classic entertaining wit is what makes the movie shine.
Don't think of the movie as just some lesson to learn and take with you. While it does have that they don't preach it to you. You figure the lessons out along with Phil (Murray), and that makes for a rather deep experience. The movie at its core is a comedy, and it's such a good comedy it's rating among the top comedies of all time by various film associations. It's not just a comedy either as it also has a healthy dose of romance in it. So much romance that it can pass off as a "chick flick" for those who are into that. So I guess you can say Groundhog Day is a romantic comedy/Twilight-Zonesque/morality play.
The other actors do great as well, including co-star Andie MacDowell, supporting actors Chris Elliot (as the cameraman), Brian Doyle-Murray (mayor of the city) Stephen Tobolowsky (old high school associate) and others. The movie was directed by Murray's cohort in Ghostbusters and Stripes Harold Ramis, which makes me wonder if the role was made for Bill. Production itself is very solid. You won't find it winning awards for costumes, sets or special effects. At the same time you won't find any production values detracting from the story; they only serve to enhance it.
This 15th Anniversary Edition will be digitally remastered (overseen by Ramis himself) and will include a host of special features including:
- Commentary by director Harold Ramis (not sure if it's a new commentary or if it will be the same commentary from the last Special Edition DVD)
- The Study of Groundhogs: A Real Life Look at Marmots
- A Different Day: An Interview with Harold Ramis
- Making of Documentary
- Weight of Time documentary
- Newly discovered deleted scenes
The Weight of Time documentary was in the Special Edition DVD, but aside from that and the commentary this DVD has all new special features. The fact there are deleted scenes on this edition is enough to make me very curious on what we missed.
This movie is a must have. Any Bill Murray fan should be required to see this movie. As far as which version to get I would say the 15th Anniversary Edition, at it is the best bang for your buck. If only they didn't use such an overly airbrushed picture for the cover. That is about the only thing about this DVD that stinks."
""Groundhog Day" is a movie that's aged really well in the past nine years, and I think will be looked back on as a classic comedy in a few decades. Using a relatively simple plot device (Bill Murray's arrogant, pesudocosmpolitan character living the same day over and over in a small Midwestern town), Harold Ramis created a silly, sweet, touching romantic comedy that is endlessly rewatchable.That said, though, I would've expected a great deal more from a 'Special Edition' of such a well-loved movie. The main differences between this release and the original DVD release of a few years ago are the addition of a commentary track by Harold Ramis and a half-hour or so behind-the-scenes documentary. The menus are also now animated and there are a few filmographies and trailers for other movies added, but these hardly help with the "Special Edition" status the disc is given. The commentary track gives some interesting info on the movie, but Ramis spends a lot of time talking about the background actors and eventually wears a bit thin on the anecdotes. If they could have gotten Bill Murray or Chris Elliott (or even Stephen Tobolowsky) to do the commentary track with him, it would've covered over a lot of the silences and helped with the narrative style, which Ramis keeps very light. Nonetheless, Ramis's fondness for the movie comes out quite cleary, and he's still fun to listen to. The documentary falls a bit flat in that in covers much of the same ground as the commentary track. Save the few behind-the-scenes photos and outtakes, there's little there that Ramis doesn't discuss in his commentary. Even more disappointing is that both refer to scenes that were shot and not used that do not appear in a 'Deleted Scenes' section.If you liked the movie, but haven't picked the DVD up yet, I recommend getting this version over the original release. If you already own the original DVD, though, there's little reason to pick this one up unless you're a huge fan of the movie. I, for one, hope they eventually release a true 'Special Edition' with deleted scenes, press materials, the script (both Danny Rubin's original and with Ramis's revisions) and everything else we've come to expect from truly first-rate 'Special Editions' - which this one sadly isn't."