The Velvet Café

A room for thoughts about movies

My favorite snow movie of all time

with 34 comments

As you’re reading this, the first big snowfall of the season is about to hit Sweden. It’s almost too good to be true.

Not only is this exactly what we need this time of the year when we start to suffer badly from the light deficiency. It also happened to be the theme our network of film bloggers agreed on writing about this month: snow.

The question was how to handle the topic. For a while I thought about making a list. After all there’s no lack of movies with a lot of snow in them, and when I threw a glance at the list of movies I’ve written about previously, it seemed as if wintery landscapes has a certain attraction to me. Touching the Void, Alive, Frozen River and The Flight of the Eagle all had a ton of snow and ice in them. The Way Back had at least one blizzard. I tried to remember if there was any snow in Winter’s Bone but couldn’t recall it. It was probably just cold.

But then I realized that I shouldn’t make any list, because in the end there is one movie that stands out above all others. Groundhog Day is my favorite snow movie of all time.

In my view a good snow movie shouldn’t only provide snow as a pretty background: it also needs to have an essential part in the story. And you could safely say that Groundhog Day wouldn’t be the film it is if it wasn’t for the blizzard which forces a TV team to stay one more night in a village where they’ve on job, at the dismay of Bill Murray’s arrogant, unlikable weatherman.

Never growing tired
I’ve probably seen Groundhog Day more times than any other movie, but it seems as if I’ll never grow tired of it. Every time I watch it I’m pulled into it.

I enjoy watching Bill Murray’s repeated suicides (this looks weird as I write it down, but it’s not as bad as it sounds). I give out little sighs of delight as he’s getting more and more romantic with Andie MacDowell. And I get a warm and fuzzy feeling in my stomach as I see him slowly, after hundreds or thousands of iterations of the same day evolve into a better, more likeable person.

How cheesy it may sound it always reminds me of how much of the misery we experience in life that actually is self imposed. I’m convinced that we can become happier persons if we start to think a little more about other people and a little less about ourselves, and if we change our view on life from being half empty to half full.

I think one of the reasons why I love Groundhog Day so much and why it still holds up so well also is that it doesn’t waste time on explaining itself in terms of science and logic. It tosses out the question “what if…?” and rightfully it puts its trust into that the viewers have enough of imagination and curiosity to be able to suspend their disbeliefs and just enjoy the ride.

Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, US 1993) My rating: 5/5

This post is a part of a blogathon run by the Swedish film blogging network Filmspanarna. The theme was “snow” Here’s a list of links to the other participants:

Except Fear
Fiffis filmtajm
Flmr filmblogg
Fripps filmrevyer
Har du inte sett den
Have you forgotten
Rörliga bilder och tryckta ord

Written by Jessica

November 28, 2012 at 8:00 am

34 Responses

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  1. A very good choice indeed! It’s the suicide attempts that clinches the deal for me too. It would be even better without quite that much schmaltz at the end.


    November 28, 2012 at 10:01 am

    • I agree that there’s schmaltz, but not more than I can handle, fortunately. 🙂 I guess I’m a little schmaltzy myself deep down.


      November 28, 2012 at 6:29 pm

  2. Aw Jessica, my girls would love a big snowfall!! Jealous

    • So far it’s been less than impressive. Just some snow crystals in the air, nothing that sticks. But they say it will turn a lot worse during the night. I’m hopeful. 🙂


      November 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm

  3. I haven´t seen Groundhog day in many years but after reading your post I will buy it and save it for Christmas.


    November 28, 2012 at 11:18 am

    • While it takes place in February, I think it’s a very good choice for a Christmas movie.


      November 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm

  4. You could even say, that you could watch that movie every day? it is also one of my absolut favorite movies at all.


    November 28, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    • Maybe every day would be a little too much. But yes, I could definitely do worse than being stuck in a loop of Groundhog Day for a while. I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve seen it and I’m not done yet.


      November 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm

  5. I couldn’t agree more, it’s such a great movie and one of the best comedies ever made (with some very dark undertones). I’m also happy that it never is explained why he ends up in the time loop. There originally was one and I’m happy that didn’t make it into the film.


    November 28, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    • It is! I didn’t know there was an explanation for the looping initially, but I agree, it’s much better the way it is. Somehow you just buy into it without questioning why and how it works.


      November 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm

  6. Saw this a long time ago. Entertaining, Murray in high shape (högform), Andie MacDowell wonderful. Should probably see it again. I feel it’s a smart, almost odd movie made in some kind of vacuum when Murray wasn’t so popular.


    November 28, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    • You should absolutely see it again. Join Fiffi and watch it for Christmas! It’s on Netflix.


      November 28, 2012 at 10:46 pm

  7. Suddenly i got a crawing to rewatch Groundhog Day. It was a while ago i it definitly worth watching again.


    November 29, 2012 at 12:25 am

  8. It’s one of my favorites as well. Doesn’t hurt that my birthday actually happens to be Groundhog Day. I don’t watch it every year, but it comes pretty close.

    Morgan R. Lewis

    November 29, 2012 at 1:49 am

    • Hehe! That’s definitely a good reason to revisit it!


      November 29, 2012 at 7:49 am

  9. I commend you on your great choice. Somehow I didn’t feel it as a “snow” movie in my mind.

    John Carpenter’s “The Thing” was the number 1 snow movie at the top of my list.


    November 29, 2012 at 10:36 am

    • Thanks! I must confess I haven’t seen The Thing myself. I’ve got some movies to catch up with, I know…


      November 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm

  10. A great choice, one of my favourites also. Other movies that instantly came to my mind when thinking of the topic were: North, 8 Femmes, True Grit, and Fahrenheit 451 (ends with a symbolic snow scene). Wow, now I am in association mode… Day after tomorrow, Kukushka, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, Snowcake, Fargo, Star Wars V, Citizen Kane, In Bruges, Doctor Schiwago… Someone stop me, please. 😉


    November 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    • Hehe, lots of great movies on your list. When you think about it snow movies are often awesome!


      November 29, 2012 at 10:27 pm

  11. I think my favorite snow movie might be Fargo, but Groundhog Day would be a close second.

    Dave Enkosky

    November 30, 2012 at 2:44 am

    • I have to admit I haven’t seen Fargo, but from other films I’ve seen by the directors I expect it to be good.


      November 30, 2012 at 8:03 am

      • Put it on your list. Ok? Up the priority. Did this? Up the priority further – make it the /next/ movie you watch.


        I am not so much in the ganster/shooting/killing movies so by reading a short summary I wouldn’t think I would like it. And I don’t. I love it. It could easily be my favourite movie if I would be forced to choose a single one (and if ‘The Life Aquatic’ would be non-existent, of course).

        Scott Lava, who draws movie showdowns (worth a visit for itself), just did a piece of it, with a similar comment:

        Frances McDormand shows a absolute great performance in this movie.

        Hm… now I am slightly embarrassed that it wasn’t with the first “snow” movies in my association above… especially as the full German title is “Fargo – Blutiger Schnee”, “Fargo – Bloody Snow”.


        November 30, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      • I’ll repeat that, go see Fargo, you won’t regret it.


        December 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm

  12.´s been too long since I enjoyed this one!
    Murray at his best? Well almost anyway,…
    Good choice! And now I must put this on my list for the upcoming winter holidays… 🙂


    November 30, 2012 at 11:18 am

    • He’s excellent. It’s on Netflix and I checked it out for this post just to brush up my memory. I was taken by how young he was! I never thought of that before. I guess it says more about my aging than his. 🙂


      November 30, 2012 at 1:11 pm

  13. Awesome choice, a shame murray died in the zombie apocalypse.


    December 1, 2012 at 10:47 am

    • He did?


      December 2, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      • “Zombieland”. Murray played himself and – as you can guess now – did not survive. His death and especially his funeral were a little… bizarre. As is the whole movie.


        December 2, 2012 at 11:04 pm

  14. Only seen this movie a few years ago but I was sold the first time I saw it, it’s a great movie. I’ve been wanting to see it again lately and that’s something that happens with very few movies.


    December 2, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    • I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve seen this. And like you I rewatch very few movies.


      December 2, 2012 at 10:12 pm

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