“Groundhog Day” has been studied by film critics, theologians, philosophers, sociologists and metaphysicians alike. It’s been preserved by the National Film Registry. It’s No. 8 the American Film Institute’s list of greatest movies in the Fantasy genre. It broke the friendship between Bill Murray and Harold Ramis. And it’s hands down the best holiday movie ever made about a silly non-holiday.
At its core it’s a character study about what you would if you had all the time in the world. At its heart, it’s about Phil Conner becoming a better person. And at its funniest, it’s all about the Ned Ryerson running gag. Stephen Tobolowsky couldn’t be more perfectly cast as Needlenose Ned. Ned the Head. Who Phil doesn’t remember, but who sure as heck fire remembers him. And who perfectly mirrors Phil’s character arc. According to legend, Tobolowsky was once the Grand Marshall of the Puxatawny celebration where he did the Whistling Belly Button bit he mentions. Consider yourselves poorer for not being there to witness it. Happy Groundhog Day. BING.