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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

February 2, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Time to revisit “Groundhog Day”

Harold Ramis’ comedy classic “Groundhog Day” is 16 years old this month, and on Feb. 2 it seems just right to say hello to it again. (For the record, this morning the real Punxatawney Phil — who I’m guessing is not the same groundhog we see in the movie, but what the hell do I know about the lifespan of large rodents? — saw his shadow, so we’re in for six more weeks of winter.) The movie, written by Ramis and Danny Rubin, is one of those rarities: an absolutely original comedy that at times even becomes profound. Its premise: a self-absorbed TV weatherman (Bill Murray, note-perfect), through some strange groundhog-related magic, must keep living the same day over and over again until he gets it right. Andie MacDowell, as his love interest, was never sweeter, and Stephen Tobolowsky as a very eager insurance salesman is so good he’s probably to this day greeted with shouts of “Ned . . . Ryerson! Needlenose Ned! Ned the Head! Bing!”
For those who know and love this movie, here’s a clip of one of my favorite scenes. Watch how Murray’s eyes roll up just before he speaks French (!!), and how the actors’ pace and the film’s seamless editing never make the repeated dialogue seem slow. I think I’m going to have to watch this movie again tonight. Maybe you will too.

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