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Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is as sweet and romantic as I remember it. A moral fairy tale about the transformative power of love. Not romantic love - though romantic love is the payoff - but rather love of others and love of one's self.

Something I only picked up when rewatching it on DVD: the climax is unusual. Normally you ramp up the conflict and danger before saving the protagonist, but in this movie the big tour de force sequence just before the clock turns over to a new morning is where everything goes right for Phil. Arguably there's an implied tension because we know that the big reset button is just over the script page, but I don't think we're supposed to be particularly concerned at that point. What makes the ending work I think is that the "Superman sequence" (as Harold Ramis calls it on the commentary) is carried out with such flair and fun. We're so caught up in the joy of the action that the emotional high we get is a different - but just as effective - one we'd get if there was a big plot complication before the happy ending. Something to think about more, and remember.

When Ramis talked about casting Murray for his ability to show both the darker and lighter sides of the character it occured to me that if the movie was made today it would star Jim Carrey. Then I realised that the movie about a selfish, funny TV reporter granted godlike powers to teach him to love others was remade recently with Jim Carrey, only they called it Bruce Almighty.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 9, 2005 12:11 AM.

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