Top critical review
One person found this helpful
It's pretty good but overrated.
on March 21, 2004
This is a universally loved movie which for some reason I've never really wanted to see, but decided that, as a fan of great movies, I had to give it a chance. The film has a great premise and it is executed better than I had anticipated. All in all I found it to be a likeable movie but certainly not the comedic masterpiece that the vast majority of people and reviewers describe this to be.
I know that most who read this will probably think that I must be nuts for just liking this movie, but I just can't see it in the same hemisphere as "Tootsie" (as some have suggested) or even other great low-brown comedies starring Bill Murray. I for one found "Caddyshack", "Stripes" and even "Meatballs" to be hilarious, whereas GD to me seems to be trying to be all things to all people. It's not anywhere as funny, warm, thought provoking or outrageous as it should have been. Since I hate it when reviewers tell to much about a movie, I won't reveal much, but anyone with a heartbeat probably knows that the premise centers around Bill Murray's weatherman character, who finds himself waking up to the very same day over and over again, turning around the general perception that the most horrible thing about life is not knowing what's going to happen next. Here the character knows all too well what will happen and he has the opportunity to see how his actions may or may not have a material impact on said day.
Director Harold Ramis has a very difficult task in trying to not repeat himself too often or the movie would be very tedious. He mostly succeeds by not going back to the well too often and finds the right balance of choosing which moments warrant re-executing and moving the story along by giving us a window to the character's full day. The movie manages to generate a few mild laughs (mostly via its great supporting characters who would be right at home in an episode of "Newhart") and avoids getting too syrupy while making apparently hitting its target. My lack of enthusiasm for the movie comes almost exclusively from Bill Murray's performance as only in the latter part of the film does he come across in a credible way. I found his early acerbic scenes to be almost phoned in as he has done this much better before. Although we are not supposed to like him, I simply found him annoying and not even credible until later in the movie. Andie MacDowell does a very good job as his potentially romantic sidekick and brings a sweetness to a role that is not much on paper. I was disappointed as to how unfunny Chris Elliott was here. Elliott is generally one to make something out of nothing, but here he is so reigned in that he leaves no impression.
Notwithstanding its limitations, this is a movie that you will probably enjoy if you don't go into it with any expectations. It's multilayered, not pretentious, and basically does a good job of executing what it set out to do. Good, yes... Masterpiece....No. I can see the "Not Helpful" tabulations coming from hard-core fans, but I really like this forum and the reviews of others have exposed me to so many different movies/music that I would have never found on my own, but also has helped me stay away from things that reviewers found not so good. In this case, I just want to offer a different perspective on a movie that is so loved by many but just did not do it for me as I would have liked it to be much darker or sunnier, but as it stands it's just cute and passable, which is more than one can say about most movies.