Groundhog Day at 25: Conflict and Inspiration at the Tipping Point of Seasonal Genres

  • Author(s): Wayne Glausser
  • When: 2019-04
  • Where: Journal of Religion & Film
  • Groundhog Day has been recognized by leaders of many religions as an inspirational film. It tracks all the responses a person might have to the suspicion that the world has no God, design, or inherent purpose: first, transgressive self-indulgence; next, acedic depression; and finally, redemptive benevolence. During the filming, however, a conflict in vision between Harold Ramis and Bill Murray tore apart their friendship. Ramis wanted a romantic comedy founded on evolution from arrogance to selfless benevolence; Murray preferred a darker satire. Although the finished film reflects Ramis's vision of comedy--the genre of spring--Murray's satirical gestures leave traces of winter that subtly undermine the inspiring climax.

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