Bill Murray is at his wry, wisecracking best in this riotous romantic comedy about a weatherman caught in a personal time warp on the worst day of his life. Teamed with a relentlessly cheerful producer (Andie MacDowell) and a smart-aleck cameraman (Chris Elliott), TV weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) is sent to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities. But on his way out of town, Phil is caught in a giant blizzard, which he failed to predict, and finds himself stuck in small-town hell. Just when things couldn't get any worse, they do. Phil wakes the next morning to find it's Groundhog Day all over again... and again... and again.
Bill Murray does warmth in Groundhog Day
, a romantic fantasy about a wacky weatherman forced to relive one strange day over and over again, until he gets it right. Snowed in during a road-trip expedition to watch the famous groundhog encounter his shadow, Murray falls into a time warp that is never explained but pays off so richly that it doesn't need to be. Director Harold Ramis (who co-starred with Murray in Ghostbusters
) takes an absurd situation and explores its every imaginable comic possibility. The elaborate loop-the-loop plot structure cooked up by screenwriter Danny Rubin is crystal-clear every step of the way, but it is Murray's world-class reactive timing that makes the jokes explode, and we end up looking forward to each new variation. Because none of the other characters are aware that Groundhog Day is continually repeating itself, Murray goes through a repertoire of responses, from conniving lust for Rita (Andie MacDowell) to gleeful nihilism to a Zen resignation worthy of Buster Keaton. Groundhog Day
manages the rare feat of producing belly laughs in abundance and also being genuinely wise about the human condition. --David Chute, Amazon.com
On the DVD: the disc presents the movie in a 1.85:1 ratio and with Dolby surround sound. There are trailers for Groundhog Day, Ghostbusters and Multiplicity, along with filmographies for Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, Andie McDowell and Chris Elliot. This remastered edition also comes with an extended documentary "The Weight of Time", which offers insights into the "European"-style script and production difficulties, but is a little over-lavish in its praise of the actors on set. Thought-provokingly, the documentary also touches upon the spiritual nature of the movie and what it has meant to an audience beyond being a simple comedy. Also included here is a directors commentary by Ramis which, although informative, has too many long breaks and would surely have benefited from the addition of Bill Murray to the conversation. --Nikki Disney