|Fig 1 - Groundhog Day Poster|
I had seen the majority of the film roughly ten years ago and never made it to the end, for whatever reason. Since then I have always wondered how the cycle was broken but never returned to it until today. They truly could have ended the film in a number of ways and it still would have been pretty perfect. It dares to explore the infinite possibilities of the high-concept world it establishes, even going as far as killing it's lead just to see how the plot is affected. But in the universe of the film, even the various suicides of our tortured Phil are made comical. What was also surprising to me is just how much of a romantic comedy it is. After the initial stage-setting yucks, Phil becomes entirely devoted to winning Rita's affection and, ultimately, leads him to become a better person. It reminded me of the tone of Bruce Almighty (2003) in the sense that the first half is a free-for-all in terms of getting laughs from an all-powerful character. Following this, the character realises that they have to learn to help others rather than help themselves, which is a pretty poignant message put across here. In addition, there's the glaring statement that we essentially do live in Groundhog Day, we just never act on pursuing our ambitions because we fear the consequences. I believe it all really amounts to a life-affirming comment on human happiness and undoubtedly leaves one feeling motivated to achieve more in our day-to-day.
|Fig 2 - Groundhog Day - Phil and the groundhog go for a drive|
On the whole, I really like this movie. I think the romance arc deviates the film from being just an out-and-out 'comedy', but it doesn't detract from the experience and gives more dimension to characters that could have easily just been pawns in a big set-up for evermore elaborate punch-lines. It's funny, touching and would make a never-ending loop all the more bearable.
Fig. 1 Groundhog Day Poster (1993) From: Groundhog Day - Directed by: Harold Ramis
Fig. 2 Groundhog Day Poster (1993) From: Groundhog Day - Directed by: Harold Ramis