|Rating: The Good – 84.3
Duration: 101 mins
Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott
Clever script built around an original idea, populated with an array of intriguing characters, and Bill Murray’s best performance. What more could you ask for in a comedy? Murray plays Phil Connors, a weatherman who is sent begrudgingly to Punksatony to cover the annual groundhog festival only to find that he must live the same excruciating day over and over again. The dialogue is razor sharp and the comedy veterans (from Murray to Chris Elliot) have a field day with their lines while Andie MacDowell plays off the more seasoned comedians in fine manner. On top of which, Harold Ramis adds to the humour by finding ever funnier ways to counteract the habituation to each of the day’s repeated events and even manages to find the humour in that repetitiveness (the morning wake up song being a particularly good example of such). Moreover, he adds a real depth to the proceedings by slowing the pace of the film towards the end of the second act to accentuate the poignancy of Connor’s existential conundrum. Of course, Groundhog Day is built on the strength of Murray’s performance and considering that he is perhaps the most intuitively funny actor to have ever graced the silver screen, it is no small thing to say this is his finest performance. Murray brings all his dead-pan wit and world weariness to bear in his portrayal of the disgruntled weatherman and in doing so gives us a hilarious performance that scores on an array of comedic levels. It is nothing short of perfection.