Review – Groundhog Day (1993)

Time Loop Review #01

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Type of Time Loop: 24 Hours

26 years ago, a groundbreaking film came out that revolutionized the very way that we see film…well…maybe not. Groundhog Day isn’t even the first film of its kind, though it can be seen as one of the first in the subgenre of time loops. Regardless, Groundhog Day is definitely the most notebale, memorable and popular time loop movie that has ever existed, and it’ll probably remain that way for years to come. Think about it. How often does a time loop film come out and the first words that come out of your mouth compares it to this movie? Happy Death Day is often referred to as the horror version of Groundhog Day (there is actually several horror time loop films out there).

So, I am starting a new theme/blogathon. It will be on every time loop film that I can get my hands on, and Groundhog Day will simply be the baseline test, since it is the movie everyone talks about within this subgenre. I will then attempt to watch the other movies in the subgenre. When researching films. I was only able to come up with 31 movies ever made that follow the same basic idea, but some of those are impossible to find. We shall see how far I get. I already have a review on Groundhog Day, but it has been several years since I’ve revisited the movie, so I thought it was pertinent to see how it scores with my newer rating system.

Misanthropic TV weatherman/broadcaster, Phil Connors, is annoyed and despondent when he’s assigned the job of covering the annual Groundhog festivities in the small “Hick” town of Punxsutawney – making this his fourth in a row. The only noticeable upside is his attractive and good-natured producer. But the real nightmare begins when Phil ends up reliving the same day (Groundhog Day) over, and over again. Unable to leave the town due to a severe blizzard, and with no end in sight, Phil struggles to find a way to escape (and ultimately make the best of) his seemingly hopeless situation. – IMDb

PEOPLE – 15/20 (75%)

Acting – 2/4|Characters – 2/4|Casting – 4/4|Importance – 3/4|Chemistry – 4/4

The people score did a decent job with everything, but it is important to note where things could’ve been improved. Being a dramedy, there are plenty of moments where the acting could’ve technically been better, but wasn’t. So, as far as the range actually goes, it mostly stays the same throughout. You also remember this movie for the concept alone, as well as who is in the movie, not for their characters. Looking at the characters on their own, nothing about their appearance, the way they sound, or any skill or talent of theirs is memorable, they are virtually all just fictional versions of their actor counterparts. Not bad, but the characters aren’t the reason you watch the movie (the most memorable character is Ned the Head). As far as importance goes, nobody has any independent character goals in the film apart from Phil broadly wanting to escape his personal hell, so nobody really has importance in the long run. That being said, most do have a certain influence on Phil, which helps him grow as a person, so it’s kind of important, that’s why it has three points. Everything else is perfect.

WRITING – 9/10 (90%)

Dialogue – 2/2|Balance – 1/2|Story Depth – 2/2|Originality – 2/2|Interesting – 2/2

Writing was near perfection for this film. The only issue found came down to how balanced the film is and feels. Like mentioned previously, no character really has a character goal, the film mostly just follows around Phil as he attempts to first figure out what’s happening and then…just…has fun with it. There’s no real clear path or direction, which means no end in sight. This comes to an imbalanced narrative. Everything else in the category is fine and dandy. Dialogue is memorable, as people still quote this movie, this is a bit of a coming-of-age film, which is often the type of film to have good story depth, and there is plenty of intrinsic value to it, and as far as interesting goes, I am always interested to see the movie, and my interest continues tbrought viewing the movie.

BTS – 9/10 (90%)

Visuals – 2/2|Cinematography – 1/2|Editing – 2/2 |Advertising – 2/2|Music/Sound – 2/2

There are a couple of main things you need to realize about this score for behind-the-scenes. The first thing is the full score for visuals. Obviously, it’s not exactly a visually-stunning movie, so where did I get that score? My score for visuals goes deeper than visual or practical effects. It also looks at lighting, hair, makeup, and production design as well, and because the town of Punxsutawney is practically a character in the film, that’s specific focus on the production design, which explains my score. Another thing I wanted to point out is editing. The editing is clearly well-done because the director shot scenes over and over again in the same locations and the editor had to sort through those shots and sort them out sequentially to tell a story that actually makes sense, and they did. Everything else is mostly self-explanatory here.

NARRATIVE ARC – 9/10 (90%)

Introduction – 2/2|Inciting Incident – 2/2|Obstacles – 1/2|Climax – 2/2|Falling Action – 2/2

This is a largely self-explanatory category, but I will tell you why obstacles only got half points. Because no character had an independent goal, nobody was trying to get from Point A to Point B, so there was nothing in the way of them getting them to that point. In other words, there were no obstacles. There was only one main obstacle, which of course, was the time loop itself, which isn’t quite as strong as a typical selection of obstacles commonly found in any other movie.

ENTERTAINMENT – 8/10 (80%)

Rewatchability – 2/2|Fun Experience – 2/2|Impulse to Buy – 2/2|Impulse to Talk About|Sucks You In – 0/2

My subcategory for sucking the audience in, when broken down, essentially comes down to how much you have to remind yourself to blink while watching it. Do you find yourself needing to hold your bladder, even when you have the ability to pause a movie because it is just that engaging? It happens a lot in film, but does it happen here? Not really. It’s a fun, entertaining movie, but that’s all I can say about that – it doesn’t deeply engage you in any way. Everything else in this category passes with flying colors. We’ve all rewatched the movie a million times, you generally have a good time watching it, I have an impulse to buy it, as I have bought it a couple of times throughout the years, and if you find out a friend of yours hasn’t seen it, you impulsively want to start a movie night specifically to make sure they see it.

SPECIALTY – 40/40 (100%)

Bill Murry – 10/10|Comedy – 10/10|Time Loop – 10/10|Halfway Decent – 10/10

As a Bill Murry movie, it’s rather safe to say this is a movie people will mention if somebody brings the actor up in random conversation, as this is one of his most famous and notable movies in his entire career, so that gets a full score. When it comes to comedy, that is extremely difficult to score, since comedy is very subjective, but it does a pretty decent job at displaying what Bill Murray is famous for, sarcastic and passive aggressive humor – and the lines are memorable, so that also gets full points. As a time loop film, it is the most recognizable movie in the entire subgenre, full points, and yes, the movie still stands strong by today’s standards, full points everywhere!

Total Score – 90%

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