Michael Schulman at The Believer:
In April 2013, Robert Black, a grad student at California State University, moved into a small apartment in South Pasadena. He and his wife of ten years had decided to split up, and he found himself spending much of that summer alone. He missed his kids: Hayley, Kieran, and Saer. “I needed something structured and regular in my life,” he recalled. On August 2, Black wrote a blog post entitled “On me in 3… 2… 1…” It was a line from the 1993 film Groundhog Day, which he had vowed to watch every day for a year.
The movie, if you’ve managed to miss it, follows a Pittsburgh weatherman named Phil Connors, played with impeccable sourness by Bill Murray. While reporting on the Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, Phil gets trapped in a mysterious time loop that forces him to relive the same day over and over again. By the end of the film, he has learned to embrace humanity and the charm of small-town life, and has won the affection of his producer, Rita (Andie MacDowell).
“Phil Connors,” Black wrote his first post, “is not only a great central character for a good comedy like this—not that there are many comedies like this—but he works as an everyman and he goes through all the emotions we all do every day of our lives. There is time in the film (not to mention the many parts of his journey we don’t see on screen) for joy, for sadness, for arrogance and humility, silliness and seriousness, flippancy and philosophy.”