Double Feature

February 2015 - February already? That means three things: Groundhog Day, the Oscars, and Bill Murray!

Don't be surprised if Murray's PG-rated 1993 classic Groundhog Day pops up on TV this, well, Groundhog Day. That's when I caught a showing a few years ago and really enjoyed it.

Murray stars as a disgruntled TV weatherman who must live Groundhog Day over and over until he makes the necessary attitude adjustments to move on. Andie MacDowell co-stars in this film from director Harold Ramis, who also co-wrote the script.

Murray plays Phil, the main weatherman at a TV station in Pittsburgh. MacDowell is Rita, a newly hired producer, and Chris Elliott is cameraman Larry. The station sends the three to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania for the annual Groundhog Day celebration. Phil notes that he's been given the assignment several years in a row and the novelty of having his meteorological training take a back seat to a groundhog named Phil wore off long ago. Rita and Larry are excited, but their enthusiasm is no match for Phil's sarcasm.

On the way back to Pittsburgh, a blizzard, which Phil failed to forecast, forces the crew to return to Punxsutawney for another night. But, when Phil wakes up in the morning, he realizes that it's Groundhog Day again. As that scenario plays out repeatedly, Phil tries anything and everything to break the cycle. He also takes advantage of the opportunity to do good deeds and to make Rita fall in love with him.

Overall review: Liked it. Bill Murray carries this movie, which is a good thing because this movie is all about Phil. It's about Phil coming to terms with life rather than expecting life to come to terms with him. Murray's performance makes the film worth watching, which is a good thing because it tends to get repetitive (as you might expect when you're living the same day over and over).

Murray's role in Groundhog Day earned him a nomination for an MTV Movie award. His role in last year's St. Vincent could earn him a Golden Globe, and perhaps, even an Oscar. We'll find out about that on February 22.

In this PG-13 film, Murray plays a curmudgeony Brooklynite named Vincent. He blows what little cash he has at the bar, at the racetrack, and on his favorite stripper (Naomi Watts). So, when new neighbor Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) needs someone to watch her son, Oliver, after school, Vincent seizes the opportunity to earn some extra money.

Maggie worries that Vincent's bad habits and murky morals are rubbing off on Oliver. But, the boy sees lots of good in Vincent. When Oliver's teacher assigns students to write about an "everyday saint," Oliver has no trouble choosing Vincent as his subject.

Overall review: Loved it! Murray gives a fantastic performance, McCarthy is very watchable in her supporting role, and young Jaeden Lieberher (Oliver) seems to have a very bright future. Overall, the movie serves as a reminder that people are complex and what you get may be a lot more than what you see.