Sunday, August 31, 2008

Groundhog Day

Dir: Harold Ramis, 1993 (9.2*)
From the routine often comes the magical. Self-centered and jaded weatherman Bill Murray, aka Phil, is bored to be reporting yet another Groundhog Day from Poughkeepsie, PA, with Phil the groundhog ("weather reports from rodents"). After the day is over, one major problem for Phil: he awakens to Groundhog Day again, and becomes trapped in the same day, over and over. Not even suicide can keep the day from recurring from the beginning radio alarm, which is always the same dj's line about Groundhog Day and the same Sonny and Cher song.

What could have been boring becomes a terrific "what if" fantasy exercise, as he falls for his tv producer Andie McDowell, and keeps changing his courtship pitch on each successive day, as only he can remember the previous day, with hilarious and heartwarming results. In one funny sequence he always races to a tree at the same time daily to catch a falling kid. They took the theme of "what if I just had one more chance" to the extreme.

In a funny anecdote about making the film, McDowell said that scenes would be over, and Ramis and Murray would be staring at her and she'd have to say "Cut" or "isn't that a cut?" herself.

Quote: Well, then you must be God. (McDowell) - A god, yes – but not THE God. (Murray)


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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