Tag Archives: Comedy

BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Quick Change (1990)

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB’s corona movie marathon continues.

I loved this movie as a kid. If you’ve never seen or heard of it, you’re in for a treat. In fact, you should drop what you are doing and stop reading this and go watch it and then come back. If you read on then without seeing it, the surprise will be spoiled for you.

Ok, for those who stayed, Bill Murray stars as Grimm, a NYC city planner and ultimately, an average guy who, with the help of his girlfriend, Phyllis (Gina Davis) and longtime friend, Loomis (Randy Quaid) rob a bank.

The opening bank robbery scene is clever, hysterical and full of twists, so again, if you haven’t seen it, go watch it.

Ironically, while the bank robbery is a success, the trio have the worst time making a getaway. Loomis is jarringly stupid and that stupidity catches up with them, but on top of that, the city conspires against them at every turn.  Their goal is to catch a flight to the Caribbean, but mobsters, gun wielding citizens, muggers, cab drivers who are terrible at their jobs, incompetent city workers who don’t know how to put up directional signs, bus drivers who demand exact change and convenience store owners who won’t give change unless they buy something are among the many challenges they must face as what should be a quick trip to the airport turns into a night long nightmare.

As if that isn’t enough, they are being chased by legendary police chief Walt Rotzinger (Jason Robards) a veteran lawman with reputation for always getting his man.

The cool thing about this movie is you end up rooting for both sides. While in reality, you should never root for someone to get away with a crime, it is hard not to, on a fictional level, root for Grimm and friends to make their escape because these are not hardened criminals but rather, just a trio of average schmoes who up and said screw it one day and decided to cheat a system that has long been cheating them.

On the other hand, retirement looms large on Rotzinger’s mind, and though he has successfully closed a number of historic, headline grabbing cases, he fears that if he does not nab this robber (a robber who dressed like a clown gets a lot of media attention), the press will have a field day and his career will have been for naught.

I’ve always thought this movie didn’t get as much credit as it deserved. Murray tends to be remembered for his franchises like Ghostbusters, or one and dones like Groundhog Day or What About Bob but if it hasn’t gotten it already, this one deserves your attention.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Movie Review – The Wrong Missy (2020)

Careful what you text, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of the Netflix comedy, “The Wrong Missy.”

Adam Sandler and friends, his coterie of 90s era comedians who usually do his Happy Madison production company movies, have had their share of hits and misses, and sadly, in recent years, its been more misses. Their style of comedy (silliness for the sake of silliness without much else thrown in) has by and large gone the way of the dodo, and we can have a debate over whether or not that’s a good thing another time.

This one is a hit.  That’s my opinion, but its topping the charts of Netflix’s offerings today, it’s release day on the streaming service. I think eventually, people will agree.

It’s got two things that Sandler’s flicks have been lacking during their last few (eh, make that several) outings – heart, and actual laughs.

David Spade plays Tim, a brokenhearted bank executive who has given up on love, unable to get over a breakup with ex-fiance Julia (Sarah Chalke). One night, he goes on a blind date Melissa #1 – (Lauren Lupkus of Orange is the New Black Fame who I always confuse with comedienne Kristen Schaal, so much so that I wonder if Kristen and Lauren’s agents are in a perpetual war over who can race to get their client any and all roles that call for a crazy, wild eyed brunette.)

Anyway.  That blind date doesn’t go well, for many wacky reasons but the chief one that comes to mind is that she carries a Crocodile Dundee sized knife in her purse and whips it out often, threatening to use it willy nilly.

Tim brushes Missy #1 off as a psycho, but while in an airport one day, he meets the woman of his dreams, also named Missy, or Melissa (Molly Simms) when he and she mix up their bags at the airport.

Long story short, Tim, urged by BFF Nick Swardson, texts his preferred Melissa with an invited to come on his company retreat to Hawaii. only to be aghast when “The Wrong Melissa” shows up on the flight instead.

Yadda, yadda, yadda. This Melissa is nuts. Tim’s job is at stake because his boss is basically using the retreat as a means to choose between Tim and another candidate for a promotion but Melissa can’t stop saying and doing crude, obscene things and the rest is history.

I think one of the better decisions made with this movie is that Spade cancelled his “I just like to rag on everyone even though deep down inside I wish I was them but I can’t because even though I’m awesome on the inside I’m short on the outside” routine.

Instead, Spade plays Tim as the straight man, the foil to Melissa’s absurdity.

Indeed, there’s plenty of room for criticism. Spade, God help me, is 55 now, and less well preserved, less famous and less wealthy men of his age generally grab hold onto whatever they can get, whereas in this film, Spade is juggling two Melissas as well as his ex who begins to wonder if she missed out on something good if all these Melissas are after her ex’s hanglow.

But Lupkus shoots a cannon in the name of this film’s self awareness at that age difference early in the movie, saying, “What are you? 65? I don’t care.”

I’ve checked some other reviews and the criticism is fairly standard.  Spade should be playing opposite some age appropriate women and how dare Melissa #2 be presented as the end all be all just because she’s uber beautiful.

Part of me wants to point out that old rich men are able to land hot younger women because, all arguments about equality aside, men tend to be more attracted to beauty while women tend to be more attracted to security (the biggest cavemen thousands of years ago, or the man with the biggest wallet today.)

That of course, doesn’t apply universally and it probably doesn’t even apply here. Hollywood wants those hot babes on screen, whereas male actors can be schlubs (although ladies if you think you have it hard trying to live up to Hollywood standards of beauty, try competing with the likes of Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pine if you’re a man and ok…I’ll be quiet now).

If this is a spoiler, then so be it, but what I did like about this movie is it didn’t go the road that rom coms usually go in when a main characters is forced to choose between two love interests. Inevitably, the writers always make the decision for the character, making one of the interests do something so awful and unforgivable that the choice becomes clear.

Technically, that doesn’t happen here. Spade has to make a choice between two women he loves and he makes it….though you do have to suspend your grip on reality to believe that a successful businessman is going to choose a woman who force feeds him dog tranquilizers and speaks in devilish tongues as part of a she’s so quirky routine would not just go for the demure Miss USA contestant.

Lauren Lupkus is great in this and hopefully Hollywood will take further notice.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – The Full Monty (1997)

Are you looking for hot stuff, 3.5 readers?

Hulu has a nice collection of old movies, so I’ve been turning to it lately, only to find this oldie but goodie.

Gaz (Robert Carlyle) and Dave (Mark Addy) are a couple of friends and unemployed steelworkers. Their hometown, Sheffield, England, was once a great place to live, but when the steel mill upon which the local community depended went out of business, it wreaked havoc on the community.

Being out of worked has caused them to lose their mojo and for Gaz, it has wrecked his marriage. His wife has left him and his continued ability to see his son depends on his ability to pay child support.

One fateful night, they pass by the only business in town that is packed, a male strip club where the ladies converge upon, throwing away their hard earned cash just to see buff dudes.

Gaz realizes he and his pals are no studmuffins, but in doing the math, realizes that if some how, if he can pack the house, the cut that he and his pals will get will be enough to keep him on his feet and his support payments paid.

They recruit their old foreman, Gerald (Tom Wilkinson), who once barked orders at them but now that he is out of work, spends his time taking dance lessons with his wife, to be the team dance coach. Along the way, they recruit Horse (Paul Barber), Lomper (Steve Huison) and Guy (Hugo Speer) all locals with their own down on their luck stories thanks to the tanked economy.

Together, they will have to overcome their fears – that they’ll look like fools, that this was a stupid idea, that none of them are exactly Chippendale’s material, and in Dave’s case, that he feels bad that he’s fat.

If you set aside the ridiculousness of a bunch of average man setting out to become male strippers, there’s humor in drama in the lengths that long term unemployed people have to just to get a job. Be out of work long enough and society will write you off as a loser, and you’ll have to reinvent yourself, and perhaps event a job for yourself just to get back out there again.

Also, no one’s saying that women don’t have it rough, but this movie does meditate on some of the things that men have to go through. Its a myth that men don’t have their own body issues, and men tend to rest their self worth on their ability to be good providers, perhaps that just goes back to the caveman days.

“A few more years and men won’t exist,” is somewhat of a prophetic line in the movie. Is it true? I’m sure we can debate all day long about it. And no one can blame women for wanting the independence and security that education and good jobs can provide but somewhere along the way, men like the Full Monty dudes were left in the dust, no way to make a living and what does it matter, because nobody no longer needs them.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Worth a watch for no other reason that it is so hard to believe that Mark Addy, so young and insecure in this film, went on to play boorish prick King Robert Baratheon in Game of Thrones and then in other ways, it isn’t hard to believe because Robert is almost a parody of a shitty king that only a comedian could really handle.

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Movie Review – Stuber (2019)

Laughs.  Action.  Driver ratings in peril.

BQB here with a review of Stuber.

At the outset, this is a fun action comedy.  It’s not something I’d want to watch over and over again, but it was worth the rental fee.

Kumail Nanjiani plays Stu, a down and out sporting goods store clerk who makes money on the side driving for Uber, thus earning him the undesired nickname, Stuber.

He pines for friend Becca (Betty Gilpin, and who doesn’t?) but despite his best efforts, including forking over his savings so she can start a spin class business, he’s permanently in the friend zone.

His life of boredom is interrupted for a night of action, adventure and sheer, out and out terror when Vic Manning (Dave Bautista), a bad ass cop on the hunt for his partner’s killer, who rather conveniently just had eye surgery and can’t drive (or in reality, do anything but you have to suspend disbelief) hires him to drive and forces him into service as his unwilling partner for the evening.

They become the ultimate odd couple, Vic helping Stu to man up, Stu helping Vic to tap into his softer side.  Will Stu be able to save the day, get the girl, and maintain the highly coveted 5 star rating that all Uber drivers desire?

Bonus points for adding Mira Sorvino to the cast.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Is Dave Chappelle Insufficiently Woke?

Hey 3.5 readers.

Trying to post a little more.

It saddens me that the PC police are coming after Dave Chappelle.  This guy was the king of comedy in the early 2000s only to be branded a villain today.  Sorry to say it but he didn’t change.  You all did.

Oh, how I loved my Chappelle’s Show DVD box set in the old days.  I’d just watch those sketches over and over.  The guy was such a comedic perfectionist that he left 50 million on the table and walked away because he couldn’t phone it in like so many others did and the stress of doing comedy right got to him.

The weirdest argument, among many, is that his R. Kelly sketch normalized R. Kelly.  I remember that sketch.  He hanged R. Kelly out to dry as a whacko, urine obsessed degenerate pervert.  How that supposedly “normalized” R. Kelly I’ll never know.  If anything, it trashed him and made people more aware of his pervyness.

It’s just sad to see everyone getting on his case.  Your thoughts?

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Movie Review – The Oath (2018)

This movie is garbage.  Just total, red hot garbage.

Seriously.  I don’t know why I’m even bothering to review it but here goes.

BQB here with a review of “The Oath.”

Somewhere out there is a movie about a family of people from different sides of the political spectrum who overcome their differences over the holidays and end up all the better for it.

This film is not it.

Initially, it seemed like it was trying to be.  It takes place in a world where the government has sanctioned a supposedly non-mandatory oath, asking citizens to pledge their loyalty to the president.   Talking head pundits explain that the pledge is not required, though mounting pressures make it so that those who don’t sign will be ostracized.

Enter Ike Barinholtz and Tiffany Haddish, a liberal couple who have vowed to not sign the oath.  The deadline to sign is Black Friday and the majority of the film takes place during Thanksgiving week.

Over the course of the holiday, Ike gets angrier and angrier as he finds out everyone in his life who he thought was going to stick with him against the oath caves in and signs out of fear of retribution.

Meanwhile, in true Hollywood fashion, conservatives are portrayed as either monsters or dopes who blindly sign the pledge.  Old man in a restaurant attacks people who don’t like the pledge with his cane = monster.  Ike’s brother and sister-in-law who sign the pledge because they think it’s the patriotic thing to do = dopes.

Ironically, if there ever was an issue that would unite liberals and conservatives together, it would probably be a state sanctioned loyalty oath.

The film is schizophrenic and isn’t sure which direction it wants to go in.  It’s billed as a comedy, but my funny bone was never tickled.  It eventually turns into a violent, dramatic quasi-thriller, or at least it wants to be but the premise is so ridiculous that it makes who wonder what substance was being smoked by whoever green lit it.  Worse, comedic elements are weaved into the mayhem, which just comes off as gross and stupid.

To the film’s credit, Ike works himself into a lather throughout the first half of the film, culminating into a crescendo where he loses it at Thanksgiving dinner, chews out his family of oath loving conservatives (and liberals who caved) and tells them they’re all pigs who should be hanged.  Point made.  If you get yourself so worked up over your political leanings that you start talking about breaking out the nooses for your own family, you might want to chill out and realize you’ve become the ogre that you claim to despise.

It could have ended there as a somewhat lackluster, forgettable film but then two agents from a government agency that administers the oath show up.  Blah, blah, blah, mistakes are made and Ike and family end up in a brawl that ends with the agents severely wounded and held hostage.

At this point, you can almost hear whatever attempts at comedy had been made getting sucked out of the film.  There are some jokes throughout the second half that fall utterly flat because, Jesus Christ and holy shit, there are two government agents who have been beaten half to death in the living room and yet somehow (SPOILER ALERT) no one ends up going to jail. Worse, some of the beatings are so hardcore that you wonder how they ended up in a comedy film because really, they’re the stuff of horror flicks.

I hate to give bad reviews of movies.  After all, I’ve never made a movie before, so who am I to judge?  This one sucks.  And blows.  It sucks and blows.

Is there a movie where a big, extended family that features a mix of die hard, conservative MAGA hat wearing Trump fans and hardcore, liberal pussy hat wearing resisters come together over the holidays and learn to love each other despite their disagreements?  There is.

I doubt Hollywood could ever make it because both sides would have to be treated equally.  That would require a script where jokes are made about BOTH liberals and conservatives AND conservatives would have to be portrayed as something more than the stereotypical hillbilly boogie man.

Moreover, characters would have to be allowed to discuss the major issues of the day and characters on BOTH sides of the aisle would have to be portrayed in a manner such that the audience could understand what life experiences the characters had that led them to that conclusion.

Hollywood could never do it.  “Orange man=bad.  Conservatives = hillbilly moonshine swigging boogie man who wants to kidnap all your non-white friends and hogtie them with the Confederate flag.  The End.”

It’s too bad because if a legit comedy that gave us the ins and outs of a mixed family of conservatives and liberals could be made, it would be award winning stuff.

Again, this film isn’t it and it’s too bad because it could have been.

STATUS: Not shelf-worthy.  The worst of 2018.  Try not to blame Tiffany Haddish.  She does her best to shine amidst a movie that is a pile of shit.

 

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Is Comedy Dying? – Kevin Hart Out as Oscars Host

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

I weep for the future of comedy.

Several years ago, comedian Kevin Hart wrote a tweet, the gist of which was if he ever saw his son playing with his daughter’s doll house, he’d shout, “That’s gay!” and then break the doll house over the boy’s head.

My two cents?  Comedy is like gymnastics.  Imagine yourself as one of those tiny Russian gymnasts at the Olympics.  You could push yourself to leap in the air, do seven airborne backflips and land into a rolling somersault.  Maybe you’ll pull it off and get the gold and the accolades, or you might mess up a complicated move and end up with a broken foot.

Similarly, comedy can be hit or miss.  If you’re going to break taboos and push lines, the joke should be outstandingly funny, so humorous that it brings a begrudging smile to the face of even the most dour of school-marmish scolds.  Otherwise, the risk that you just end up looking like an asshat instead of a clever joke-smith is too great.

This joke was only so-so.  People need to grasp the context.  The joke isn’t on the son, it’s on the father.  Hart was making fun of his own sense of manliness, his own insecurities, his own insane fears that the slightest showing of a softer side can turn someone homosexual.

Imagine if this joke hadn’t been in a tweet but rather a sitcom.  Kevin is a typical dumb sitcom dad.  He comes home from work, sees his son playing with his daughter’s dollhouse.  Close up on a freaked out look on Kevin’s face.  Close up on Kevin as he looks off in the distance, imagining what this could lead to.  Cut to grown up son performing as a drag queen, accepting “Best Drag Queen of the Year Award,” and he says, “Thanks for the doll house, Dad!”

Cut to Kevin freaking out and like the Incredible Hulk, he smashes the house into a thousand pieces.  The daughter cries.  The son says, “Dad, what the hell, man?  I was pretending that doll house was Cobra Commander’s secret base and I was attacking it with my GI Joes!” (or whatever today’s equivalent toy is.)

Enter mom, livid that she has married such a buffoon.  Cut to Kevin staying up all night gluing all the pieces of the doll house back together.

I don’t know.  I get some of the backlash to the tweet.  It wasn’t the best joke and it comes across as mean spirited to gay people.  As a society, we’re trying to get parents to accept their kids as they are instead of trying to mold them into something they don’t want to or can’t be.

But at any rate, I think Kevin was just making fun of himself.

I’ve never thought Kevin was a great comedian or a terrible comedian.  He was somewhere in the middle.  He plugs along.  A ham and egger.  But one thing I give him credit for is he is one of the few comedians left who TRIES to be funny.  He tries to think up funny situations for his acts and movies and rarely delves into politics but rather is into the humor for humor’s sake.

Meanwhile, and look I don’t care if you love Trump or hate Trump, but mainstream comedy has basically gone from actual comedy to this oddball world of people just standing up, saying something to the effect of, “Orange man bad!” and then cue the canned audience laugh track.

On top of that, why is Kevin being singled out?  Alec Baldwin was arrested and he’s still on SNL. Jimmy Kimmel once appeared in blackface.  He was still allowed to host the Oscars.  Sarah Silverman once appeared in blackface.  She’s still allowed to do voices in Disney movies.  Overall, I’ve enjoyed Family Guy and have looked at Seth MacFarlane as an example of someone who made it in Hollywood by sticking to it and pushing himself, but there have been some times where I’ve watched that show and been like, “Wow, this is going way too far” and then I’d change the channel.  And he was allowed to host.

I don’t know.  Just seems like there should be one standard.  Why are we combing JUST through Kevin Hart’s past?  Either the rule is that anyone who hosts the Oscars must be as clean as a whistle, or some past transgressions are ok as long as they aren’t doing it now….but to hold Kevin Hart to one standard and others to another is lame.

Oh well.  Who cares?  No one watches the Oscars anyway.

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Great Musings of the Twenty-First Century – #376 – 400

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#376 – Existing isn’t the same as living.

#378 – Grapes are small pieces of fruit.

#379 – Physically, we aren’t able to see what is behind us.  Mentally, we are always looking at the past that’s unchangeable.

#380 – Birds of a feather flock together but kittens of a whisker don’t do much of anything interesting whatsoever.  Sorry I mentioned it.

#381 – Every lacrosse team has at least one Chad.

#382 – I don’t know who I am anymore.  I’m not sure I ever knew in the first place.

#383 – Stars are nature’s glitter.

#384 – One day I would like to learn judo.

#385 – I’d like to make a banjo with nothing but a cigar box, a broom handle, fifteen rubber bands and the assistance of a professional banjo maker.

#386 – I once was lost but now am found. I was in the last place I thought to look for myself.

#387 – Ducks love bread.

#388 – How fast is a light second?

#389 – The other day I was in the dairy aisle of my local grocery store. I picked up a product labeled, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.” I set the container down and moved on.  Sorry, but if the manufacturer is unable to believe that the contents do not consist of butter then I don’t know why I’m supposed to.

#390 – I’m going to think of something ridiculously clever and insert it here later.

#391 – Broadband does not include broads and if it did, those broads would not join a band. Discuss.

#392 – Are mole people friendly?  I’m talking about people with moles on their faces, not the people who live underground.  We all know the latter are dicks.

#393 – I love my microwave.  Frankly, whenever I think about how I own a device that can harness the power of the atom just to cook my frozen pizza, I get a little hard.

#394 – If Frankenstein has sex with a lady werewolf, would their baby be a Frankenwolf or a Wolfenstein?  If it’s the last one, would they have to pay royalties to the people who made that video game?

#395 – I bought a dry erase board in the hopes that I would think of something clever to write on it.  My first note on it? “Remember to return dry erase board.”

#396 – Right now, at this very moment, two horny penguins in Antarctica are getting their fuck on.

#397 – Why are people always offering poisoned people antidotes? People, it’s not that hard. Just don’t drink dotes in the first place.

#398 – Whatever happened to Mario Van Peebles?

#399 – Is it a violation to use sidewalk chalk on driveways?

#400 – I’d eat cake at every meal if I could.

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Movie Review – A Simple Favor (2018)

Be careful when a friend asks you for a simple favor, 3.5 readers.  You never know when it might come back to bite you in the ass.

BQB here with a review of “A Simple Favor.”

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=a+simple+favor

Holy crap, 3.5 readers.  Holy freaking crap. This was such a good movie.  It’s so cool when you go into a movie, not having heard much about it and it turns out to be a real nail biter.  I really recommend it.  Go see it now.

Let’s get into it.

Anna Kendrick is Stephanie, a super mom.  She bakes those cupcakes.  She does all those volunteer jobs for her son’s school.  She even has her own mommy vlog where she records videos full of tips to help mothers become the best mothers they can possibly be.

Meanwhile, Blake Lively is Emily, a rich, powerful business woman, an expert at making money but at mothering?  Not so much.

Long story short, the moms meet when their boys have a play date and become unlikely friends.  Stephanie is an awkward goody two shoes.  Emily swears and drinks like a sailor.  Somehow they put their differences aside and compliment each other.

Alas, chaos ensues when Emily asks Stephanie for a simple favor.  She asks Stephanie to pick up her son at school and babysit him for the evening because she is swamped at work…and then she never comes back.

Thus, it’s up to Stephanie to solve the mystery of her friend’s disappearance.

If this is a spoiler, then so be it.  I’ll shout it out now.  SPOILER! Look away.

The cool thing about this movie is for the most part, it is a heart pounding mystery thriller, somewhat in the style of “Gone Girl.”  Where’s the girl?  What happened to her?

Then, at some points, it moves from seriousness and provides laugh out loud humor.  Much of this is at the expense of Anna Kendrick, who is often featured in comedies as the sweet, naïve type and she excels at this here as a fish out of water, a super mom who just wanted to make a friend and now she’s thrust into a world of murder and intrigue.  She engages in a lot of self deprecating humor to get her through.

Meanwhile, we see an evil side of Blake and her evil comes out in scary ways but also in funny ways.

I have no idea how to explain it other than picture a movie that goes from being an edge of your seat mystery to all of a sudden it’s like something you’d see on SNL and then it’s back to being a serious mystery again.

Doesn’t make sense?  You’ll just have to go see it and get back to me.  I’ll give it this.  It’s very original and I give Hollywood kudos for greenlighting a movie that doesn’t make sense on paper but scores points in the execution.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Not gonna lie.  Blake and Anna have both provided me with many a boner over the years, so much so that I’ll probably buy this movie when it comes out on demand just so I can use it as fapping material.  Sorry.  I just ruined my review but hey, it’s scary, it’s mysterious, it’s funny, and you can also fap to it.

FUN SIDE NOTE: While I was in the theater, there’s a part where the Blakester is going full out evil scary mode and at the same time, a woman in the theater roughly the same size and shape as Blake tripped and fell (not really fell but sort of stumbled down the stairs) and it scared the crap out of me and a bunch of other movie watchers as I think we all thought it was some kind of scary interactive shit or something.

 

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Groundhog Day (1993)

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Have you ever experienced deja vu, 3.5 readers?

Oh, and by the way, have you ever experienced deja vu?

BQB here with a review of the classic comedy, “Groundhog Day.”  SPOILERS ABOUND.

Bill Murray plays Phil, an arrogant, self-absorbed Pittsburg weatherman who can’t contain his disdain for local television, phoning it in until, he hopes, a job at a national channel will save him.  He openly mocks his job, his life, and all around him, never taking a moment to appreciate what he does have.

On one fateful day, Phil is assigned to cover the Punxatawney Phil ceremony, where a groundhog is pulled out of its hole and according to legend, if it sees its shadow, then there will be six more weeks of winter.  This is the ultimate contemptible assignment for Weatherman Phil, who despises the idea of thousands of yokels dancing around in the cold to see a rat get yanked out of a cave.

Accompanying Phil are his goofy cameraman, Chris Elliot, and his producer/love interest, Andie MacDowell, a perpetually happy woman who always sees the bright side in everything, truly Phil’s foil.

Phil can’t wait to get out of this hick town but alas, every day he wakes up and it is Groundhog Day over and over and over again.  Why?  It’s never explained.  He’s just stuck in an infinite loop, destined to live the same day for eternity.

How many Groundhog days does Phil experience?  One can never be sure, but it has got to be in the thousands at least.  This is truly an experimental film that was ahead of its time as the timeline is manipulated to comedic effect.

Phil’s reaction to his plight ranges from depression (he kills himself repeatedly only to wake up safe and sound with Sonny and Cher on the radio again and again), to greed (robbing an armored car without consequence) to lust (he questions babes about the most intimate details of their lives, then meets them fresh the next day and presents their interests as his, making them believe they’ve found their soul mate so they’ll offer instant nookie.)

Are there any lessons to be learned?  Yes.  When you are stuck in a rut, you have to do a lot of work to dig yourself out of that hole.  Phil lives the same day over and over, really, for years.  He makes mistakes.  He learns lessons.  Ultimately, when he uses his repeated day to better himself (take piano lessons) and to be kind to others (he starts spending his days finding out about the townsfolk’s problems) he finally lives one great, amazing day, spent helping the local yokels all day, only to tickle the ivories at night, impressing his lady love with his musical talent while the locals regale her with stories of Phil’s kindness.

Improve yourself.  Be kind to others and they will tell tales of your goodness, tales that will reach someone you want to impress.  This seems to be the name of the game and if only we could compact that work into one day that we get to live for years before we learn the lessons and then get to start fresh the next day.  Unfortunately, when we are stuck in a rut, we must learn those lessons, obtain those skills, do those acts of kindness for years before they pay off, we may get old and croak before any of our hard work goes noticed.

So, the name of the game is start early.  Funny, I saw this movie as a kid and didn’t heed its warnings.  Today, I feel like Phil, stuck in a rut, turning people off with my constant mockery of everything, unable to find the time needed to improve my life and impress people.

I need a Groundhog Day!  Come on, Sonny and Cher.  Get on my radio!

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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