Groundhog Day (1993) Film Review

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When was the last time you saw a good ‘magic’ film? You know, those cheesy films of the eighties and nineties where a character swaps bodies or has a mannequin come to life or lives the same day over and over and over? I think they were a product of their time, and I challenge filmmakers to make a new one that I like anywhere near as much as a classic like Groundhog Day.

Phil (Bill Murray) is a cynical weatherman being sent by his network to Punxsutawney, a small town that holds a large ceremony each year to celebrate Groundhog Day. (For those who don’t know, on Feb 2, folklore states that when a groundhog emerges from its burrow, if it sees its own shadow, winter will continue for six more weeks) Rita (Andie MacDowell) is his new producer, a gentle and kind woman. Phil is desperate to get home, but they are trapped due to a blizzard. When he wakes the next day it is, in fact, the same day. And this continues for quite some time.

Bill Murray is just so great, he plays the really nasty grump who says awful things to people all of the time perfectly, though his transformation seems somewhat cynical. But Andie MacDowell as the love interest – she’s just so bland. I just re-watched Four Weddings and a Funeral and was so disappointed in her performance in that… I honestly used to think she was great. Ah well. I guess some things should not be revisited.

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) Film Review

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When did I become so cynical and horrible? I used to love this film so much, a story of true love that just takes a while to finally bloom. Now, I see an idiot chasing a terrible woman with no real personality who plays with him like a cat with a small toy.

Okay, so Charles (Hugh Grant) is a man who has had a long string of serious relationships, but laments that none have led him to marriage even as many around him wed. Carrie (Andie MacDowell) is a mysterious American who he immediately falls for despite her having very little personality (quite an achievement since she has some absolutely charming lines, yet still comes across as being boring). And they end up taking this kind-of romance through four weddings and a funeral.

I think it is a very good film, but watching it now I found some of the key parts quite unbelievable and overly convenient. Still, overall I love the characters and the humour and it will still always make me cry. A Lot.

 

Four Weddings and a Funeral was nominated for Oscars for Best Picture and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Richard Curtis)