Groundhog Day

'90s comedy offers witty, sarcastic take on redemption.
  • Review Date: August 4, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1993
  • Running Time: 101 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Phil has a big lesson to learn about what it will take to make it to February 3 -- and get the girl. Through lots of trial and error, including putting others' lives in danger and trying to end his own, he figures out that caring for and helping others is the key to breaking the spell.

Positive role models

While spending most of the movie behaving in a smug and selfish manner, Phil learns the importance of looking out for and caring about others. 


Phil attempts suicide in a number of ways: electrocution, jumping off buildings, and diving off a cliff in a truck. He keeps coming back to the same day, though. Sad death of a homeless man that Phil tries to revive more than once and takes to the hospital. 


Phil seduces women, with plenty of pickup lines and kissing on the couch and (clothed) in bed shown. A joke about how a woman sounds like a groundhog when she gets "really excited." Reference made to spending the evening reading the pornographic magazine Hustler. 


"Hell." Use of the middle finger in one scene. 

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Beer and shot drinking in a bowling alley. A character clearly intoxicated tries to drive his car. Cocktail drinking in a bar. Cigarette smoking. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Groundhog Day is a 1993 comedy starring Bill Murray as a smug and selfish weatherman who must live through the same day over and over again until he learns the value of caring about others. Though on the whole a lighthearted comedy, this movie also deals with depression, and Phil undertakes a series of suicide attempts. Characters drink at bars, and in a scene in which three characters are shown getting drunk in a bowling alley, one of the characters attempts to drive a car while clearly drunk. Phil then drives the car, and he realizes he can drive as recklessly as he wants because he's just going to start over repeating the same day as if nothing happened. 

What's the story?

Cranky TV broadcaster Phil (Bill Murray) and his crew are sent to tiny Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to capture the "thrills" of its annual Groundhog Day celebration. A snowstorm strands them there overnight, and when he wakes up the next morning, Phil soon realizes that something strange is going on: It's Groundhog Day again. As Phil repeatedly relives the tedium of the same day over and over, he gradually learns to treat people decently. He also falls for producer Rita (Andie MacDowell), working every angle to figure out how to seduce her. Each defeat means a little more information -- and gets him a little closer to winning her over the next time around.

Is it any good?


Bill Murray shines in this good-natured comedy that delivers lots of laughs and some honest sentiment. Funny and uncommonly sweet, GROUNDHOG DAY has just the right blend of comedy and romance. Bill Murray is hilarious in his usual role as the detached wiseacre. Remarkably, the movie manages the almost impossible task of making us care about this sarcastic man.

The story is simple but clever and uses repetition to great effect. Director Harold Ramis also uses sound and music to great comic effect. Phil wakes up every morning at 6 a.m. to the ironically cheery Sonny and Cher song "I Got You Babe."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about other movies that play with the concept of time, such as It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol. What is appealing about this idea?

  • How are the movie's overall themes presented in action, dialogue, and story? 

  • Bill Murray plays the lead character in this movie. How is the character he plays similar to other characters he has played in other movies? How is the character different? 

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 12, 1993
DVD release date:January 20, 1998
Cast:Andie MacDowell, Bill Murray, Chris Elliott
Director:Harold Ramis
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Run time:101 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some thematic elements.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old August 14, 2010
age 11+
Awesome movie overall. I rate it PG-13 for brief sexual content and language.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Teen, 15 years old Written byDisneyGirl94 March 29, 2010
age 12+

Good for younger teens and good also for adults

This is a very good movie. Bill Murry is at his best here. A good movie to sit back and relax and have a good time with lots of laughs. I think that younger teens will love this movie and so will adults. The only thing to look out for is some cuss words (not bad though) and some suicide experiments. But other than that awesome movie that you can watch over and over.
Parent of a 13 year old Written byTsion April 19, 2009
age 13+

A Moving and Funny Movie...

This is a great movie. It is well-written, well-acted, and very positive and moving. It boasts positive messages about love and redemption, to boot. Sex is really the only issue in the movie (outside of some mild, comic suicide attempts by Murray's character). He seduces women, and manipulates one woman for sex with knowledge from her past. You see them tumbling and kissing passionately on the bed in one scene, but nothing explicit is shown. Also, some men are seen to be drunk.
What other families should know
Too much sex


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