I try to make it a habit not to recommend a movie to people unless I think they will like it. Today’s challenge involves recommending one movie to everyone, so it requires a film that holds some kind of universal appeal. But it should also be a film that I myself think is really great. If not, why would I care if people saw it or not?
I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say they didn’t like Groundhog Day, and it also happens to be one of my favorite movies. And the “universal appeal” aspect is certainly in effect if director/writer Harold Ramis is to be believed. In the DVD commentary track, he mentions how he has gotten lots of mail from people from all parts of the world and various religious and spiritual groups, all saying how the film rings true to their specfic philosophies. It’s not a stretch to imagine that Bill Murray’s journey from being a jerk to more altruistic values can fit in well with lots of different beliefs.
It’s also a very funny movie, with Murray at his comedic best as the snarky weatherman who finds himself forced to relive February 2 over and over again. First he’s annoyed, then he starts abusing his new “power”, gets fed up with it and tries to kill himself, and eventually learns to care for the people around him and starts bettering himself. Every leg of his transformative arc is a delight to behold.