The Original Twist Ending To “Groundhog Day” Was Awesome

There’s one way that the original twist ending to Groundhog Day would have been awesome and that’s if the movie had been a comedic horror instead of just a comedy/drama that ended on a high note. Upon learning how the original writer of the movie, Danny Rubin, didn’t plan on telling Phil’s backstory before he ended up in Punxsutawney and that his ending was much different, it’s kind of hard to see how this would have played out with Harold Ramis’ vision since he managed to create a movie that was funny, witty, and yet had a lot of very real human feeling to it. One thing about this movie is that it does come off as a bit of a dark comedy at times since there are a few things that happen to Phil and the fact that he’s committed suicide so many times at one point is kind of hard to process unless you’re an adolescent or an adult that knows what’s going on. In other words, it’s not exactly a family movie or the kind of slapstick humor that one might think of when it comes to pure comedy. But it was funny all the same since it had Bill Murray’s style and his level of humor in the movie all the way through, which is to say it was increasingly sarcastic and didn’t take itself that seriously.

The twist ending is pretty simple as it features Rita waking up to realize that she’s living out Feb. 3rd, the day after Phil’s loop, over and over. Initially, it sounds like Rubin had her leaving the room right away after thinking she made a mistake in sleeping with Phil, but as you can guess, Ramis didn’t find this to be a satisfying ending. To say that it’s a horrible ending isn’t really fair since if it had been worked around and kept largely the same, but with a comedic lean, it could have been kind of awesome since it would indicate that Rita wasn’t quite as squeaky clean and kind as she was made out to be in the movie. It’s either that or, as it’s already been mentioned, the time loop was sexually transmitted, which would mean that someone that Phil was with would have had it to begin with just from a logical standpoint. If that’s the case then the story becomes kind of depressing like It Follows ended up being since as horror movies go, It Follows wasn’t exactly the best movie out there, and calling it a cult classic would be kind. But saying that the time loop is a sexually-transmitted thing would be kind of awkward for a movie like this. Instead, Harold Ramis decided to go ahead and make the movie a bit lighter, he gave Phil a fun and witty backstory, and in effect, he made it possible to believe that Phil was released from the time loop when he’d finally learned how to do for others and not just himself.

Anyone not seeing the simplicity in this movie kind needs to take another look at the movie and realize that the main point wasn’t quite that hard since Phil was a pain in the backside coming into the story and as he started to change the loop kept going, but he started realizing just why his life was miserable. This promoted a change of the type that usually takes years, but to be realistic we don’t really know how long he was stuck in the loop, since it could have been years at the very least. It would make sense considering that he knew something about every person in the town, and it’s likely that each person would have taken a while to get to know. Had it started the way Rubin wanted and ended the way he wanted there could have been a sequel, but it would have been a bit challenging and likely wouldn’t have had the same feel to it. The happy ending that Phil and Rita were given was definitely quick and felt a little bit rushed for the two of them having just met a short time ago, but it was definitely for the better since it felt earned somehow, no matter that Phil was the only one that knew about the loop. Plus, when you really think about it, whether Rita had left the next morning and started experiencing her own loop, telling Phil about it would have been a simple fix to the movie since he’d already been through his own loop and would have at least some idea of how to go about getting her out of hers. In short, the second movie wouldn’t have been nearly as convincing since it would have had a serious leg up on the first one when it came to breaking the loop. So thankfully Ramis’ contribution when it came to changing Rubin’s script was a positive thing.

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