17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Groundhog Is Jesus,
This review is from: Groundhog Day (Special Edition) (DVD)
Groundhog Day was a Harold Ramis-Danny Green script that Ramis ingeniously shot in a freezing Woodstock, IL for a 1993 release. All the film critics at the time noted it as a cute romantic comedy with no particular accomplishment. Everyone I know who has seen it, myself included, liked it and smiled on their way out of the theatre. Groundhog Day is on the American calendar, and the film is often played on that day in mid-winter where those of us in colder climates are dreaming of Spring. Today Groundhog Day is considered one of the great American Films of the late 20th Century. Danny Rubin created the concept while Harold Ramis, co-writer of Animal House and Caddyshack broke away from his previous gross-comedy productions to direct his Opus Maximus. That's how Jonah Goldberg of the National Review described it in the February 2005 issue of the Conservative magazine.
I read the 2003 New Yorker piece about Ramis. Ramis is a Chicago born Jew with no religious training. He is a Hollywood director, actor, and comedy scriptwriter. He is presently studying Buddhism with his second wife. I don't know anything about Danny Rubin other than his version of the script had Andi MacDowell also reliving Groundhog Day along with Murray's Phil, the slimy weatherman for a Pittsburgh TV station. Ramis made the necessary changes and the rest is possibly the greatest non-secular religious experience in American Cinema. The fact that Rabbi's, Ministers, and Priests are showing this film to their parishioners all over the world is a testament to the film's masterful Aristotelian philosophy of redemption and rebirth.
There are so many classic comedy bits, lines to remember, and moments of hilarity for a short review but often overlooked is the theme of rescue through learning. Adults are cursed to make the same mistakes over and over again. Every Freudian shrink has heard his patient's repetition of behavior. Every man is trapped by his wiring. Then, sometimes, maybe because of a catastrophic event, a religious insight, or an intelligent evaluation, there is an epiphany. We can't be sure how the application of intelligence, talent, or luck can establish great work, but we must appreciate it when we see it and be the Groundhog.