I have no affection for groundhogs, but Groundhog Day is one of my favorite movies. Made in 1993 it has come to be lauded as one of the best movies ever made. “The film is number thirty-four on the American Film Institute‘s list of 100 Funniest Movies, and was named the number eight Fantasy film inAFI’s 10 Top 10. Roger Ebert has revisited it in his “Great Movies” series. After giving it a three-star rating in his original review, Ebert acknowledged in his “Great Movies” essay that, like many viewers, he had initially underestimated the film’s many virtues and only came to truly appreciate it through repeated viewings. In 2009, the American literary theorist and legal scholar Stanley Fish named the film as among the ten best American films ever.
In 2006, the film was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” I like to think I recognized its value way before that. It’s even better than “What About Bob?” another Bill Murray classic.
On his fascinating blog Transparency Now media critic Ken Sanes has an essay detailing the plot of the movie which has our ‘hero’ trapped in one day and through his journey from anger and bewilderment to compassion and understanding.. ” Slowly, he goes through a transformation. Having suffered himself, he is able to empathize with other people’s suffering.” I should mention that this is a very funny movie!