In the film, Harold Ramis plays out the same scenario but places it through an amazing series of variations that range from black comedy to heartfelt romance. The variations and the lengths that Ramis twists them around like the endless attempts on Bill Murrays part to work out Andie McDowells likes and dislikes and his frustrating attempts to build the perfect date, or the truly amazing scene where he tries to convince her he is a god and proves his point by pulling back to tell her details about the lives of every single person in the diner are wonderful to watch.
Groundhog Day is also an extremely touching romantic story Bill Murrays line of endless failures is affecting, and the scenes with he trying to tell Andie McDowell what she means to him are enchanting. Bill Murray is cast in fairly much his usual sarcastic comic persona but for once the script gives his character a worthwhile emotional workout. One wondered how the film was going to end but it does gently surprise one. (The film originally did have an ending where Bill Murray was revealed to have had a curse placed on him by a former girlfriend but this was cut). The film never bothers to explain why any of the events happen but that is not important and the nonchalant ending makes delightful sense in its own way.
Groundhog Days timeloop scenario was subsequently played in a number of other films with the likes of 12:01 (1993), Retroactive (1997), Repeaters (2010), Source Code (2011), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), ARQ (2016), Before I Fall (2017) and Happy Death Day (2017), even an entire tv series Day Break (2006-7).
Director Harold Ramis began as a comic on SCTV (1976-81) in the 1970s and branched out as an actor in films like Stripes (1981), Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II (1989). Ramis also wrote National Lampoons Animal House (1978), Meatballs (1979), Caddyshack (1980) and both Ghostbusters films. Ramiss directorial career began with Caddyshack and the first of the interminable National Lampoons Vacation (1983) series. Following Groundhog Day, Ramis went on to direct the cloning comedy Multiplicity (1996), Analyze This (1999), the remake of Bedazzled (2000), Analyze That (2002), The Ice Harvest (2005) and the caveman/Biblical comedy Year One (2009). Disappointingly, these other films slip into too much of a comfortable mainstream ease and Groundhog Day remains the only of Harold Ramiss films that runs on full cylinders. Ramis also helped to co-create the animated film Rover Dangerfield (1991).