2. Groundhog Day
directed by Harold Ramis
Is there any actor, comedian, person or living creature better at simply reacting to things than one Bill Murray? I think not, and if you dare field a competitor, I beg of you to re-watch Murray in Harold Ramis’ formative 1993 comedy Groundhog Day. When the radio alarm-clock strikes up “I Got You Babe”, Murray’s Phil Connor, a TV weatherman, finds himself stuck in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, inexplicably forced to repeat the same titular day again and again. With a relatively simple premise, the film lives and dies on Murray’s—as well as the enormously talented cast of supporting characters (including Battleship Pretension favorite Stephen Tobolowsky)—abilities to make the same scenes not just interesting but uproariously funny. The scenes that put Phil Connors in bizarre situations are as funny as to be expected, but Murray and the film really thrive on Connor’s reaction to the banal minutiae of day-to-day life that we wouldn’t think twice about (or three times, or four times, or five times, ad infinitum).