I love super serious, heavy movies. Slavery, war, the holocaust, the Titanic (not the movie Titanic though. Maybe it was because when I saw it in the theater with my coworkers from Barnes & Noble who never knew my name, I was super baked, but the CGI was so fake in this movie! And Kate Winslet looked 30, and Leo looked 14!), the apocalypse, crime, mystery, ghosts. I also heartily enjoy sci-fi, fantasy, and documentaries. But when someone asks me what my favorite movie is, I just can’t bring myself to say Sophie’s Choice or The Color Purple.
So, I thought long and hard about it and made my decision. And, just so I don’t get any fancy ideas of changing my mind, I have drafted the following contract with myself:
This is to affirm that no one in the future, including my future self, may revoke or repeal this declaration. It is legally binding in all the laws of the universe, including those of alien beings yet to arrive on our planet.
This declaration is also binding under the laws of any manmade lifeforms such as robots, androids, or zombies who become sentient and form their own societies.
Therefore, I, being of sound mind and body, do hereby declare that my favorite movie of all time is…
Just in case you are from another country (or planet) or you are Amish or something, this is a story about a weatherman named Phil Connors (Bill Murray) who is on assignment covering the Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney, PA when he suddenly finds himself in a time warp where he lives the same day over and over again.
In the movie, Phil lives the same day about 35 times. But in real life, it is estimated (by nerds everywhere, including Harold Ramis, who cowrote the screenplay) that it really would have spanned 30 or 40 years.
Over that time, Phil works through several feelings: Confusion, disbelief, fear, frustration, elation, desperation, motivation, inspiration, and finally, peace. He has no choice but to keep trying new approaches. There is no exit. No escape. He can’t die and no matter what he does, by the next morning, everything is exactly as it was the previous morning. By the end of the movie, he realizes that, while he can’t change the world around him, he can change himself.
But what really makes this movie is the combination of superior writing and unbelievable comedic timing on the part of one William James “Bill” Murray.
But I just want to be clear that I’m pretty sure Mr. Murray would NOT be funny anywhere else in the universe but Earth. In fact, I am sure that if any sort of alien society were to want to abduct any Earth comedians, that Bill Murray would NOT be the right one. I think intergalactic comedy really needs someone more… broad. Have you ever heard of Adam Sandler?