After a couple of bad movies, comedian Bill Murray seems to be enjoying something of a comeback, stretching his considerable acting skills. He can be seen in Mad Dog and Glory, as a frightening gangster who is also a stand-up comic. And he is the star of Groundhog Day, which continues to do well at the box-office weeks after it opened.
Groundhog Day is a quiet, warm comedy, lacking the wacky childishness and sophomoric silliness of Murray's previous Ghostbusters movies. And it may be the only romantic comedy for adults to be seen at the moment.
Bill Murray plays Phil, an urbane and cynical TV weatherman, sent to cover Groundhog Day in the small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The Capraesque premise of this comedy is based on a universal fear: Experiencing the same events and encountering the same people day after day.
Indeed, Phil finds himself incessantly reliving Groundhog Day, but the trick is that he alone experiences that. The film's question, what does one do in such a case, is answered in the sweetest and most satisfying way–emotionally and spiritually.
Groundhog Day also benefits from a classic structure of romantic comedies and an uncharacteristically graceful performance by Andie MacDowell, who plays Murray's producer and later love interest.