Groundhog Day – Special 15th Anniversary Edition
Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott
Directed by Harold Ramis
Originally released 1993
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2008
The only thing wrong with Groundhog Day is it lead to dreadful dreck like Christmas Do Over. Otherwise, this Bill Murray comedy, now available in a 15th Anniversary Edition DVD, is a lot of fun.
This is a Harold Ramis (Ghostbusters) comedy co-starring Andie MacDowell and Chris Elliott with Rick Ducommun in a small part.
Considered by many as the best Bill Murray comedy Groundhog Day is not quite a comedy classic but it is a fun movie to live through again from time to time.
Bill Murray plays somewhat soured weatherman Phil Connors who is sent for the fourth year in a row to Punxsutawney to cover Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction as to the arrival of spring. He goes there with new producer Andie MacDowell, a good-hearted kind of gal, and cameraman Chris Elliott. They cover Groundhog Day, get on the road back to Pittsburgh, are stopped by a blizzard, and have to spend another night in Punxsutawney.
After that, it’s déjà vu all over again.
The premise is a bit thin. It is what twists and extremes co-writer and director Harold Ramis brings to the story and the variants with which Murray re-acts some scenes and the glee with which he approaches the different scenarios that make this comedy work.
It also works because Phil’s actions when he realizes he can do things without any consequences are very believable. That Ramis does not belabor certain scenes is also a plus.
You also can’t blame the Bill Murray character for using is knowledge of the very, and I mean, very recent past to seduce the lovely Andie MacDowell.
After a while though, Phil Connors figures enough is enough and tries to figure out a way to make this day from hell end. This is where this comedy has some of its darkest and funniest jokes before it amazingly becomes a cheerful, positive comedy.
You never quite know why Connors is cursed nor how or why the curse is lifted but it does make for a fun comedy so what the hell.
Special features on the Groundhog Day Special 15th Anniversary Edition include a director’s commentary track with Harold Ramis aka the usual ho-hum stuff, an interview with Ramis, a 25 minute movie about the movie titled The Weight of Time, a six-minute documentary titled The Study of Groundhogs: A Real Life Look at Marmots, and six deleted scenes.
I would have kept the ice sculptures scene.
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