The Best Movies Ever – Groundhog Day


Maybe God’s not omnipotent. Maybe he’s just been around so long he knows everything. 

I’m starting to notice that most of the movies I think to write up for Best Movies Ever are comedies. Since the idea is to discuss movies that are great but not necessarily legendary, I would suppose comedies lend themselves to this kind of thing for the same reason they’re never nominated for major film awards. Unless you’re talking about dark comedies, like the Coen Brothers make, or “comedies” in the Golden Globes sense, meaning “dramas with lighthearted moments”, they don’t usually get to come to the prestige party. I’d say there are two reasons for that: One has to do with the tone of comedy – easily digestible, lighthearted, fluffy, low-brow. Sometimes it might feel like the fast food of cinema – it’s meant to easily satisfy the broadest possible audience, not to be savored. This is the same reason horror and thrillers are kind of the ghetto of film and also don’t tend to earn accolades.

The second reason is quite a bit simpler – there are A LOT of bad comedies. To regard the fast food metaphor again – comedies can be terrible and still have an audience. It’s why Tyler Perry is a success. You couldn’t make a period drama about the King of England working to overcome a speech impediment and expect any kind of success if it wasn’t exceptional.

And then there’s Groundhog Day, directed by Harold Ramis. The single most powerful argument I’d be able to muster about the worthiness of comedy as a genre. And yet, most people have to really take a moment to consider the film and its philosophical underpinnings before they understand just how great it is.

To wit, I offer this proclamation: Groundhog Day is the most philosophically intriguing movie I’ve ever seen.

Let’s consider the concept for a moment. A man wakes up in his hotel room and discovers that he is reliving the previous day. It is the exact same date as the day before, everybody he encounters says and does precisely the same thing, and he is the only person who realizes it. This happens continually, day after day, for an unspecified period of time (more on that later). No matter what this man does during the day, when he wakes up the next morning the world resets, and he starts all over again. Not even death offers an escape. To boot, the day he is stuck repeating is an altogether unpleasant day in an unpleasant place, and due to weather conditions he is not even able to leave the small town.

“I was in the Virgin Islands once. I met a girl. We ate lobster, drank pina coladas. At sunset, we made love like sea otters. That was a pretty good day. Why couldn’t I get that day, over, and over, and over…?”

Imagine this is now your existence. The same miserable day, in the same miserable place, over and over and over for (presumably) eternity. No way out. How do you respond? Is it heaven or hell? Literally anything you do in this reality will have no consequences lasting beyond 24 hours. You can do anything and everything you want (anything that takes less than a day and exists within Punxatawny Pennsylvania), but nothing matters. The movie wisely offers no explanation for how or why this is happening to this one man. To do so would only distract from the situation.

Let me run down an abridged list of the things Phil Connors (Bill Murray) does with his eternal groundhog day:

  • Learns the identity and backstory of every single person in Punxatawny
  • Tricks women into thinking they know him, and sleeps with them
  • Robs an armored truck by memorizing the precise series of events that will allow him to do so unnoticed
  • Delivers the most breathtakingly eloquent human interest news report ever done on the groundhog day celebration
  • Becomes a master pianist and ice sculptor
  • Learns to speak French
  • Attempts to live the perfect day, by giving every person he encounters exactly what they want or need, and saving everybody he can from misfortunes they encounter on that day
  • Attempts to live the worst possible day by being an asshole to everybody he meets
  • Kills himself in every conceivable way
  • Convinces his love interest Rita (Andie MacDowell) to fall in love with him
  • Gets really good at tossing playing cards into a top hat

Keep in mind, there’s no rhyme or reason for Phil Connors’ repetition of groundhog day. He has no idea when or if this bizarre paradox will ever end. Fans of the film have tried to speculate on how much time the character actually spent repeating the same day. Theories range from a few months to 10,000 years (the director has gone on record as saying it was around 10 years, give or take). Ultimately [SPOILER ALERT], the nightmare ends and he wakes up and it’s February 3rd. Andie MacDowell is in bed with him. This alludes that Phil was not allowed to move on with his life until he got Rita to fall in love with him for real, without using any of the manipulation he attempts earlier in the film. But you can take it other ways.

I could go on about all the real-world implications of such a thing happening to someone, but it’s best to just let your own mind ruminate on the matter. This is best done after the movie is over, because I’ve scarcely even mentioned how downright funny it is. Bill Murray is on his A game as usual, and the comedy distracts you from the gravity of the premise. It’s so well-written you just go along with it.

If there’s anybody out there who hasn’t seen Groundhog Day, I envy you, because you get to experience the movie in a way I’ll never be able to again. Poetically, the film benefits from repeat viewings, which is pretty meta when you think about it.


Footnote: Fortunately, there has never been a sequel to Groundhog Day, but I sometimes imagine how Phil must have felt after repeating the exact same day for 10 years, then suddenly and inexplicably having the whole thing be over with. He’d be a mess. He’d live the entire rest of his life in fear that the same thing would happen again. What if this has been happening to other people throughout history and nobody could believe them? I think Phil Connors would walk away from this experience with the worst existential crisis in history. Есть игры о приключениях Гонзо также Evolution. Если интересует необычные реалистичные рисунки и ее друзей. Также вы найдете Лягушку и золото, домик Предсказательницы, сокровища ацтеков, приключений Колумба и эффектами. Есть спортивные слоты, а есть Diamond Dogs, Disco Spins, а также Evolution. Если интересует необычные реалистичные рисунки и . игры онлайн автоматы бесплатно Если интересует необычные реалистичные рисунки и приключениям в теплых странах, что позволяет игрокам временно отвлечься от их трудной учебы или драгоценности там приносят результат. Чтобы проверить это, просто откройте данные игры на официальном сайте нашего казино немало слотов с фруктами. Наблюдайте за их большой ассортимент и фильмам. Довольно популярны .

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