This movie has several layers, not all of which were apparent to me at first viewing.
On a surface level, it's an outstanding romantic comedy, where Bill Murray's cynical character has to live the same day over and over. It's time travel back to the same day. It's all done very humorously. Yet as you peel away the layers, and look deeper there is a profound message to be discovered.
Have you ever felt stuck in your life, and no matter what you do, it does not seem to make any difference. You get frustrated, desperate, even depressed. Then you make a decision to solve the problem no matter what. This movie is a metaphor for self improvement. Phil's journey is our journey.
So, we see the journey this character takes from cynical, sarcastic and negative, and self absorbed, and not likable. Then he is presented with the same situations over and over and is forced to adapt, or be forever stuck.
Some of the lessons here include: you create your own experiences, so when you change your perceptions you change your reality, the transforming power of true love, all change comes from within. When you change your view of the world from being cynical selfish, and exploitive to truly loving and compassionate, the world responds to that change, and so do people.
The character does play with the day on a surface level at first, and eventually improves how the day goes, although he has certain aspects under control, other issues such as how to seduce the Andie McDowell character remain elusive, because his motives are transparent. The movie keeps going in interesting and amusing ways.
In the latter part of the movie he is saving the same person's life every day, he has gone from not playing piano to a professional standard piano player. Of Course, he has also kidnapped a groundhog, but that was just a phase. In the end, he masters his reality, and is ready to move on.
If you're like me this movie clicks with you and you will think about it for a long time afterwards. I consider this to be Bill Murray's best movie, and I highly recommend it. If you found this review helpful.