Christmas isn’t the only time of year that has classic holiday movies. Oh no, they are spread throughout the calendar and fill many of us with memories of snarkiness and joy. Welcome to Dysfunctional Holiday Theater.
Yet another Dysfunctional Holiday Theater entry for Bill Murray sends him to Pennsylvania to live the same day – February 2, Groundhog Day – over and over until he gets things right. This time around, Murray is weatherman Phil Connors, who goes with a news crew to Punxsutawney, Pa. to cover the groundhog seeking his shadow.
Phil is not a good person and the universe puts him through a test to change him. Sounds a bit like SCROOGED, only this time there aren’t any ghosts. Which also eliminates GHOSTBUSTERS 2… Every morning, Phil wakes up to “I Got You Babe” at 6 am, which would drive anyone a little crazy. Phil, though, can’t get out of February 2, no matter what he tries to do.
Phil foils crime, he learns how to play the piano and create ice sculptures and quote classic literature, all in the course of a day that lasts much longer. He even tries to teach a groundhog how to drive!
Just how long did Phil spend in Punxsutawney? There are 38 individual days shown during the 101-minute movie, but becoming an expert in all the disciplines he perfects while there would take roughly 34 years, according to Obsessed With Film. That’s a long time to deal with insurance agent Ned and the other weirdos in that town (which was actually filmed in Woodstock, Illinois).
In the end, Phil finds true love with Rita (played by Andie McDowell) and wakes up on February 3 after he figures it all out. It’s a holiday classic for a holiday that doesn’t get much love. It’s a shame Bill Murray hasn’t done a movie about National Talk Like A Pirate Day…