Do you ever feel like you’re just living the same day, over and over and over again? Do you find yourself asking, “Is this all there is?” or, “If only Bill Murray were here, my life would be so much funnier, in a slyly droll, understated sort of way.” In Groundhog Day, the 1993 Bill Murray-Andie MacDowell comedy classic, local weatherman Phil Connors (Murray, but of course) gets caught in a time loop while covering the Feb. 2 emergence of the world’s most famous groundhog, Punxutawney Phil (hmmm, the groundhog and the main character have the same name…), an event that, according to folklore, predicts whether there will be a long winter or an early spring.
The time-trapped weatherman at first indulges himself and takes advantage of others by employing his foreknowledge of the day’s events, then grows bored and tries to free himself from the endlessly repeated day, without success. Meanwhile, he tries to pursue an infatuation with his producer, Rita Hanson (MacDowell) but gets nowhere. Eventually he undergoes a sort of metaphysical awakening…but does he get the girl? It’s a film that’s a straight comedy on the surface, but also an exploration of life’s ultimate meaning. What’s not to love?
The film—directed by Harold Ramis of Ghostbusters fame—was added in 2006 to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” A stage musical version of the film premiered in 2016. Groundhog Day is shown in theaters around the country on Feb. 2—and the Liberty Theatre in downtown Camas is where you can get your Groundhog Day fix on the North Bank. It’s showing at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2, with additional showings on Feb. 3 and 4. For more information about showtimes and ticket pricing, visit www.camasliberty.com.