[Moving picture of popcorn]

Laramie Movie Scope:
Groundhog Day

One of the best comedies ever

[Strip of film rule]
by Robert Roten, Film Critic
[Strip of film rule]

February 15, 1993 -- What would you do if you found yourself living the same day over and over again? You can remember what you did yesterday, but to everybody else it is a new day.

Bill Murray, star of the ``Ghostbusters'' movies, ``Meatballs'' and ``What About Bob'' among others, has a real winner this time. It is his best film since ``Ghostbusters.'' This is one of the best comedies I have ever seen.

Murray plays an egotistical television weatherman named Phil stuck in an unending series of Groundhog Days in Punxsutawney, Pa. He has to live the same day over and over until he gets it right.

Director Harold Ramis (he played Egon in the Ghostbuster movies) does a terrific job of patching this piecemeal fantasy together and making it believable. Bill Murray is so likable that you don't mind the fact that he starts the film as a terrible person, but then he begins to develop some real warmth as the story goes along.

A lot of ideas are fully explored in the film. Bill Murray goes through shock, elation, depression, suicide and finally a kind of spiritual rebirth in this mythical purgatory. He gets to know everybody in Punxsutawney, where Phil the Groundhog resides. He knows everything that is going to happen in Punxsutawney on Groundhog Day and how best to take advantage of this knowledge.

This is a one-of-a kind film that has some of the charm and originality of ``Back to the Future,'' and ``It's a Wonderful Life,'' but instead of getting a second chance, Murray gets innumerable chances. Instead of seeing how terrible life would be without him, he sees how much more rewarding life can be when he has something positive to offer people. The beautiful Andie MacDowell shines as Murray's hard-to-get producer and Chris Elliott is funny as the sarcastic TV cameraman.

This film rates an A.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

[Strip of film rule]  
Back to the Laramie Movie Scope index.
    [Rule made of Seventh Seal sillouettes]

Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)