It’s Groundhog Day again

By Laurie Bennett

February 2, 2013 at 11:05am

If cable television were worth its bandwidth, more than one network would be playing “Groundhog Day” over and over today. *

The 1993 movie isn’t just about self improvement. It’s about building relationships.

Phil (Bill Murray) falls in love with Rita (Andie MacDowell) and proves himself by earning the affections of just about everyone in Punxsutawney, PA.

After an endless time loop of Sonny and Cher singing “I Got You Babe,” suicide attempts, piano lessons, uncounted doughnuts at the Tip Top Cafe, and not-so-random acts of kindness, Phil finally makes it to February 3.

Bill Murray
Bill Murray

Harold Ramis, writer and director of “Groundhog Day,” is also a believer in building relationships through repetition

He and Murray shared credits on six films. He worked with director Ivan Reitman on three of them - “Ghostbusters,” “Ghostbusters II” and “Meatballs.”

His work product is so extensive that it has spawned a pastime called “Ramis Roulette,” a review of local cable listings to count the number of Ramis-written-and/or-directed movies airing in the next 48 hours. (The roulette link is well worth a read. Ramis describes Murray: “I could probably make the case that Bill is all the Marx Brothers rolled into one,” then says he is heartbroken because the two no longer communicate.)

The Ramis-Murray collaborative spirit has chilled in recent years, with Murray turning toward serious acting in projects such as “Hyde Park on Hudson” and “Lost in Translation.”

The interactive Muckety map above shows actors cast in Murray films who appeared in other Ramis films as well. Leading the list are two other “Saturday Night Live” alumni - Chevy Chase and Dan Akroyd.

* AMC subscribers indeed have this option. You can check your local listings for times, but what difference does it make? It’s always February 2, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Added note: The latest news from Punxsutawney is that the groundhog did not see his shadow, which foretells an early spring.

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The relationship map to the left is interactive.
• Solid lines are current relations. Dotted lines are former relations.
• Expand items with + signs by double-clicking or by selecting multiple items in the map and pressing the "e" key.
• Move an item in the map by clicking and dragging.
• You can also delete items, separate boxes and save maps. Right-click on the map or select Map Tools for these options.
• Find out more about an item in the map by right-clicking on the item and choosing Information about...
• View map color key.
• This interactive map requires Flash player.

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