Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Groundhog Day

US movie (1993). Columbia. Pr Trevor Albert, Harold Ramis (1944-2014). Exec pr C O Erickson. Dir Ramis. Spfx Tom Ryba. Screenplay Ramis, Danny Rubin. Starring Andie MacDowell (Rita), Bill Murray (Phil Connors). 101 mins. Colour.

Second-rate Pittsburgh weatherman Phil is sent to cover the Punxsutawney Groundhog Day, February 2 (on which day a groundhog is supposed capable of predicting whether or not winter will continue for another 6 weeks). A blizzard stops his crew returning to Pittsburgh that night. Next morning, Phil wakens to find it is once again Groundhog Day, and the same happens again, and again ... At first, after getting over his panic, he uses the time loop for selfish purposes – robbing an armoured truck, bedding pretty women, making repeatedly unsuccessful attempts to seduce Rita, his producer. To win her he must, he realizes, make himself seem a better person than he is, and he employs his repeated Groundhog Days in educating himself to that end. In so doing, of course, he becomes that better person. Presumably because Love conquers all, the cycle is broken and the pair enter February 3 together.

GD is a slight fantasy; it is of interest primarily because, largely through an adroit screenplay, it avoids the tedium its theme of repetition might all too easily have incurred. [JG]


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.