I remember seeing this in the theater and feeling burned. Bill Murray playing a snooty weatherman forced to repeat the titular day over and over in a small Pennsylvania town evoked the meld of dark comedy and fantasy that I’d enjoyed in Scrooged. But Groundhog Day played as a romantic comedy, with Murray spending his repeated eternity becoming a better man to woo his producer, played by Andie MacDowell. At least, that’s how I saw it.
But later it made its way into rotation at the video store. Little by little, viewing by viewing, the film’s darker side became more apparent and the wry humor wormed its way into my subconscious. In college, I gave it a proper revisit and loved it. Today I consider the film a near-great effort constrained by romantic comedy tropes. Murray’s deadpan humor matches the film’s darker aspects, while MacDowell charms as the requisite love interest. Who knows? A few more watches and it might crack five stars.