While Alex Kuczynski's examination of the fondness for the film, Groundhog Day by Jews, Christians, and Buddhists alike is interesting, Gothamist found a major flaw in the article. In the film, arrogant weatherman Phil Connors is faced with living February 2 over and over again, and goes from grumpy and frustrated to slowly living his days more constructively once he realizes he's caught in February 2 forever, thus different religions alight to the concept: Buddhists can see samsara, "the continuing cycle of rebirth that Buddhists regard as suffering that humans must try to escape"; Jews can see Murray's character being rewarded by "returning to earth to perform more mitzvahs good deeds rather than gaining a place in heaven"; and Catholics associate the "deadness of his life at the beginning the movie" and each day, he is reborn and "what is reborn is this new person resurrected from his comatose way of looking at the world." While interesting, we're shocked that nowhere in the article is mention of Bill Murray's sublime performance, which convinces us Phil is a jerk and makes his transformation through the countless February 2's more believable. And our favorite critic, Andrew Sarris, notes Murray's "courtliness and vulnerability in his love for a woman," which is something that Murray has been doing a lot of lately, whether in Rushmore or Lost in Translation. Maybe the Times didn't want Alex Kuczynski to write a MASH note to Bill Murray.
Buy Groundhog Day on DVD.