Plots involving time loops are tricky. For the writer the question is how do you have a day repeat over and over again and still maintain interest. In Groundhog Day a sardonic weather man, Phil (Bill Murray), finds himself reliving a most displeasurable 24 hours. During this period he is in the tiny, obscure town of Punxsutawney, PA (which turns out to be a real place). He and two coworkers, who he makes endless fun of, are covering the local festival in which the town calls upon a real groundhog to determine whether or not spring will come early. Phil ironically has the same name as the groundhog, but despises having to report on the event.
Inexplicably, Phil finds himself stuck in Pennsylvania and waking up in that same day, over and over again. This frustrating cycle is what eventually drives his character development as he tries different ways of filling the time in that one day.
Bill Murray is as skillfully funny and sarcastic as ever. But the film leaves some significant questions unanswered. Why did the loop begin and why did it stop? Also, when exactly was Phil’s turning point? Thankfully, a corny witch did not appear and curse the Phil, giving him instructions on how to break the loop. However, no one tried to explain this abnormal occurrence.
In other news I now know that the little furry creature I’ve been seeing out my window is a groundhog.