Groundhog Day (1993)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Groundhog Day</strong> (1993)

(On Cable TV, April 2012) Curiously enough, I’d never seen Groundhog Day until now, nearly twenty years after its release.  It’s one of those films quoted/referenced so frequently that it’s easy to feel as if you don’t need to see the actual footage to know about it.  But that’s wrong in predictable ways: This film hasn’t become a minor enduring classic for no reason: Past its high-concept, Groundhog Day is a solid, well-made movie with an appealing lead character perfectly played by Bill Murray, many small pleasures, terrific scene-to-scene narrative momentum, an eye-catching Andie McDowell, and a deeply satisfying thematic subtext.  Spiritual, funny, thought-provoking and unpretentious at once, it’s a film that clicks on nearly every level.  Its annoyances and contrivances are easily swept under the rug, and what remains is a terrific film even after two decades.  The spiritual growth of the lead character is inspiring, and is enough to make anyone think about how they’d act in similar situations. As a fantasy, it may not be particularly rigorous, but thematically it’s completely satisfying.  Don’t miss it, even if you think it’s way too late to see it. 

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