BP’s Top 100 Movie List Challenge #81: Groundhog Day, by Sarah Brinks
I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen – the Battleship Pretension Top 100 provided just that challenge.
I love Groundhog Day. I own it, I grew up watching it, I love it. Okay, now you know where I am coming from. Honestly I don’t know what you could find to not love it. The performances from the leads Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell to the characters that make up the town of Punxsutawney, PA like Ned Ryerson, Buster and Nancy are all fantastic.
The fantastic script by Harold Ramis and Danny Rubin expertly balances the comedy, drama, and science fiction elements of the film. The structure of the film is key to what makes Groundhog Day so successful. Phil begins in denial, then he figures out how to take advantage of his knowledge of the day’s events, then he becomes disillusioned and tries to end the cycle, and finally he genuinely learns to be a better person. I read some interviews where it is suggested that Phil might have been stuck in that loop for thousands of years. That sci-fi angle of the film is fascinating and you understand why he thinks he might be a god. They say to become an expert at something you have to do it for 10,000 hours. I like that the films shows the time he has been in the loop by showing him learn French, become an ice sculptor, and learn to play the piano.
On top of the time travel elements, Groundhog Day is also a hilarious comedy and beautiful romance. While we get to know Phil throughout the film, you also get to know Rita and what a complex person she is. As he peals back her layers it makes sense that he would need to change so much in order for the universe to feel that he finally deserved her. It is always a delight to watch this film and I am so glad it is on this list.
I’ve decided to rate each film using an arbitrary scale based on the board game Battleship (lowest: Destroyer, Submarine, Cruiser, Battleship, highest: Carrier)
Groundhog Day ranking: Carrier
I’m going to rank the list based on my preference after every 20 movies.
Sarah’s ranking of the Top 100 movies… so far (100-81):
100 Fight Club
97 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
96 Werckmeister Harmonies
95 Animal House
94 Wild Strawberries
92 City of God
91 The Player
90 Forrest Gump
89 Some Like it Hot
88 The Best Years of Our Lives
86 Groundhog Day
84 Finding Nemo
82 Eyes Wide Shut