Groundhog Day is exactly 101 minutes long. Because I love reliving it, a la Phil Connors, as much as any movie out there, I figured I’d whip up the blog equivalent of a “commentary track” of 101 reasons why I love the film (roughly one per minute). That way all of you Groundhog Day fans out there can relive the classic fantasy comedy on Groundhog Day as well, regardless if you are at work or in Punxsutawney for the official festivities.
101 Things I Love About Groundhog Day
1. Because having Bill Murray as my weatherman would’ve been way cooler than the stiff I grew up watching. Sorry, Tom Dye.
2. You gotta love that Murray, given the state of his hair in the movie, has the guts to call a chick “hairdo.”
3. Chris Elliot and Willie Garson (Stanford Blatch in Sex in the City) appear in the flick. The next and to my knowledge only other time they both appear in a major motion picture is There’s Something About Mary. This combo is a formula for a guaranteed hit.
4. That the movie survived Andie MacDowell, hell, made her look almost like an adequate romantic lead. Murray pulled off one of the all time carry jobs in this one.
5. The movie also survived the wretched “Weatherman” track by Delbert McClinton. Harold Ramis, you damn near ruined your own masterpiece by co-penning that tune.
6. People like blood sausage? Well, people like Jersey Shore 17 years later. Maybe Phil was right — maybe people are idiots?
7. That Murray can turn a mundane convo about hotel lodging into a one-actor highlight reel many of us can quote by heart.
8. Marrying “I Got You Babe” to a 6:00 AM alarm. Is a more annoying combination even possible?
9. The Morning Show. That’s right, woodchuck chuckers.
10. The dimwitted Bread and Breakfast owner.
11. Stephen Toblowsky, aka “Needle Nose” Ned Ryerson. Toblowsky and his whistling belly button stole the show. Plus, he’s just an awesome guy as evidenced here, worshiping Greta Garbo, and here, providing a podcast commentary for the film.
12. “Watch out for that first step, it’s a doozy.”
13. The Pennsylvania Polka. Punxsutawney knows how to party.
14. Brian Doyle-Murray, Bill’s real-life bro, is the mayor. Keep it in da fam, baby!
15. Six more weeks of Winter. That quote serves as great foreshadowing for the longest personal season in the history of cinema.
16. The upside-down “Blizzard” sign.
17. Gobbler’s Knob. Holy sexual innuendo — is that a real place? Turns out it is.
18. That Murray has to ponder whether he wants to freeze to death or go back to Punxsutawney.
19. “Is it snowing in space.” We’ve all given phone customer service representatives the sarcasm treatment.
20. The black bartender who never really speaks but actually says a ton. I’m pretty sure they keep using the same shot over and over again of him shaking his head.
21. The “Hustler” name drop. The staple of every sleezeball’s magazine rack.
22. The “Don’t mess with me, Pork Chop” scene. Tubby had to think Phil Connors was absolutely insane.
23. “Do you ever have déjà vu.” Pretty sure that isn’t some fancy French dish, lady. No need to check with the kitchen.
24. That sitting here watching this, I realize the film is one of those Back to the Future movies. A special, rare, innovative classic which we will never see the likes of again.
25. The bad early 90s style mixed with small-town style. The movie is so good you almost overlook it, and it kinda adds to the nostalgia.
26. “What if there is no tomorrow — there wasn’t one today?” If you are every trying to break up with someone, make it easy on yourself and just say this. You also might get committed to the local nut house.
27. The breaking-the-pencil trick. Most of us wouldn’t be as smart as either Phil or screenwriter Danny Rubin were.
28.Chris Elliot as Murray’s punching bag. You can’t help but think that someone had this honor back in grade school.
29. Rick Ducommun, aka that guy from The Burbs, aka the poor man’s John Candy “Like the Groundhog Phil?”) . They both are/were even Canadian. You have to think that this guy was constantly sitting around, getting bad news from his agent, cursing the name of Candy.
30. Harold Ramis trying to figure out Murray’s head. You get the feeling he’s done that a few times before.
31. The douchebag shrink who asks if Phil can come back the next day.
32. The sex-on-the-beach story. I think all of us re-live a day much like that over and over, even if it is less glamorous. No? Step away from the computer, please.
33. “I’m not gonna live by their rules any more.” Many of us have uttered those very words. Few of us have acted on them. So punk rock.
34. Ordering food from the cops. I doubt they serve flapjacks in jail. Well, unless you are talking about Bubba the 300-pound black man’s titties.
35. Waking up not in jail. It’s like life if Monopoly’s “Get Out of Jail Free” card was real.
36. The order-everything-on-the-menu scene. Pigging out minus the self-imposed guilt trip…and love handles. Just imagine.
37. That it only took Phil until his third re-run of Groundhog Day before he first tried to exploit his situation for sexual purposes…
38. …and that Phil actually succeeds in using his situation to get laid on the fourth “extra” day.
39. Phil calls Nancy the wrong name during foreplay, fixes it by recklessly proposing to her, calls her the wrong name again, but the bullshit marriage proposal carries him through. What more can you even say about that sequence?
40. “10…9…8…car…6…5…quarters…” We’ve all said we’d rob a bank if we could. This scene is even more gratifying today after we all bailed out the banks.
41. Bill Murray as Clint Eastwood. “Call me Bronco.”
42. Phil says that his old fiancée doesn’t remember him, then ponders whether his blonde date is an adult or minor. He does that in about, oh, a 10-second span.
43. “Me, me, also me.” What an apt choice of words, considering that Murray single-handedly carried the second-best diner scene of the 90s. (The best was the De Niro-Pacino scene in Heat.)
44. How many guys, or girls, would love to have multiple do-overs at that bar pick-up line? The “sweet vermouth” scene is like the Super Mario Bros. of dating, except you are always 1-up.
45. Phil laughing in Rita’s face when she tells him she studied 19th Century French poetry…
46. …then rebounding with some perfectly spoken French poetry. Franc! That’s what money is called in France, or was at the time of the movie. Stupid Euros.
47. The snowy-gazebo-dance scene. My mom’s favorite. She says it’s purdy.
48. Andie MacDowell’s vest. My mom was also fond of that…17 years ago.
49.The “it’s gotta be tonight” scene. Fellas, we’ve all been in that place where we just can’t stop trying. Most of you ladies have likely been on the other end of the stick, literally. We’re sorry. We were made that way.
50. The premature “I love you.” No matter how desperate you get during your No. 49 moments, don’t go here if you don’t mean it. Take it from Phil.
51. The overzealous snowman-building redux. Geez, Phil, could you be any more fake? You used the word “humdinger” in a god damn sentence!
52. The slap track. Some dude probably has one of these on YouTube nowadays.
53. I love that such a Zen movie was filmed in a town called Woodstock.
54. The morning after. When Phil decides he has no chance with Rita, he looks like me on the most hungover day of my life times about 10.
55. The Jeopardy display of genius, complete with a swig of Jack.
56. “It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be gray, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life.” Brilliant practical (he’s recording a segment) dialogue that echoes Phil’s current plight.
57. The destroying-the-alarm-clock montage. I think we’ve all busted at least one.
58. Why does Larry wear his stocking cap like the tip of a condom?
59. “Is there something I can do you for?” The classic unintentionally gay hick sexual innuendo.
60. Larry suggesting that Phil wanted to f*** the groundhog. That’s the beauty of subtext; our minds are a lot dirtier than a PG rating can allow the dialogue to be.
61. Murray’s stunt driver looks absolutely nothing like him. Not one bit.
62. The groundhog gives Murray more to work with acting-wise than MacDowell. He’s actually quite gifted. Since woodchucks only live about 10 years max, he’s probably in the afterlife chilling with his human equivalent, Marlon Brando.
63. “If you got a shot, aim high — I don’t want to hurt the groundhog.” probably not the meanest thing BDM said to brother Bill, but it has to be close.
64. The only other actual living thing he kills is a groundhog. How many of us would be so humane when put in his shoes?
65. Larry saying “he might be OK” after Phil drives a truck off a cliff and does a 100-foot front-bumper-first freefall into a canyon. He changes his mind only when the truck explodes into smithereens.
66. The suicide montage. You know he has been killing himself for a long time when he electrocutes himself with a toaster, steps in front of a truck and plunges off a tall building. Then again, an overdose wouldn’t have been very captivating.
67. “I’m a god.” After Murray’s Dr. Peter Venkman wanted Ray Stantz to say this in Ghostbusters, he finally gets a movie mulligan.
68. Phil rattling off everyone in the diner’s back-stories. Awesome way of proving just how long he has been there in entertaining lightening-round fashion.
69. Debbie and Fred. They aren’t just the Wrestlemania couple. Fred is now Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon.
70. You know how I know you’re gay? You paint toy soldiers. Who wants to bet this film inspired The 40-Year-Old Virgin painting soldiers.
71. The mean mullet on the dish-tray dropper in the diner.
72. The monologue where Murray makes us fall in love with Andie MacDowell…acting…in a movie. Sure, she is beautiful, but that’s quite a feat.
73. The card-in-the-hat trick. Be honest; you tried this with an entire deck after you saw the movie, then promptly quit after you missed the hat every single time. I did.
74. Call it creepy or sweet, but most of us fellas have watched the chick we love fall asleep…and whispered the things we wish we could say in real life to her while she was counting sheep.
75. I really wish there was a reel of all of Phil’s scenes at Gobbler’s Knob, either filming or preparing to film. The manic mood swings he has are amazing as Murray really runs the gauntlet of emotions. The man really deserved an Oscar for this performance.
76. The way the piano teacher shoves her student out for a fat wad of cash. Gold digger!
77. How pork chop has to be a closet homosexual. He’s ready to prance around West Hollywood after Murray hugs and kisses him. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
78. Ice sculptures with a chainsaw. Murray had to learn how to actually do a lot of things for this film, but there is no way he learned this. No way. I can’t believe people can carve frozen water into such beautiful works of art. Blows my mind.
79. “No, but my dad was a piano mover.” This would be like saying you could do open-heart surgery because your old man was a janitor up in the Cardiology unit.
80. Ned Ryerson is not a closet homosexual, but instead a raging homophobe. It was just a man-hug, dude, chill out.
81. The old-homeless-man montage. This is where Phil both becomes selfless, or as selfless as one can be, and realizes how fragile and short life can be, despite his current circumstances which would indicate otherwise. This change ultimately wins him Rita and ends the longest day ever.
82. The kid who doesn’t thank Phil. Sometimes kids get embarrassed. Happens.
83. Brother Bill saving BDM’s life. Wonder if that ever really happened, or vice versa?
84. Larry trying to show Nancy the inside of the news van, and then retrieving his tip after she walks away. Maybe the scummiest 10 seconds a man has ever lived…well, a man in a girl scout sweater at least.
85. Murray going Ray Charles on the piano. Anybody else ever wish he was your dad? Even for a second? Sorry, dad.
86. Is that Ron Jeremy playing back-up guitar for Phil Connors?
87. That super gay clap-twist dance the piano teacher does. Man, I hated that when I was 14.
88. “He’s the fastest jack in Jefferson County.” Now even the geriatrics are getting nasty.
89. Gotta love the dance scene where everybody thanks him. Reminds me of how capable all of us are, how we all have days where we amaze even ourselves.
90. If you made it this far, this video is your award. Look for the teal sweater.
91. Dr. Connors being an honorary title. You have earned it, Dr. Murray.
92. The man auction. As if women would ever need to pay for men. I can suspend disbelief, but c’mon.
93. Murray’s collarless dress shirt. Admit it — you had one.
94. The old lady bagging Larry for a quarter. That’s more like it. No woman is going to bid $300 and change for a man. With inflation that would be like $1,500.
95. Murray doing the Ryerson punch flurry. Like how they fight in Far and Away. Or how I imagine the Notre Dame mascot punches. Classic.
96. “I know your face so well I could’ve done it with my eyes closed.” Could act better than MacDowell with your eyes closed, too. Sorry, last Mac joke.
97. “I’m happy now.” If you have ever had that in-the-moment moment, that scene was for you. To hell with what followed. Feeling that way is an awesome thing to experience.
98. That the Morning Show played “I Got You Babe” on the actual next day’s show and psyched us out.
99. Waking up like Phil did, and realizing how good it is to be alive with what you have.
100. “They’re gone, they’re all gone.” On the surface, Phil is talking about people. But this quote is about something much, much deeper — demons. His demons are gone. A fantastic bit of dialogue to finish off a brilliant script.
101. I have watched this movie probably 101 times, yet I can keep reliving it over and over again, just like the film. And much how Phil does with his life, I love and appreciate the film more than I ever have before by the time I reach the end. Thank you, Murray, Ramis, Rubin and Co. for that gift.