Any fan of movies over the past two generations was probably sad like me to hear of the death of comedic legend Harold Ramis on February 24th. He wrote, directed, and performed in some of the funniest films of my life.
Most people first think of his signature role as Dr. Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters, the scientist with all the 411 on ectoplasm and crossing streams. But Ghostbusters actually isn’t my favorite Ramis film.
A lot of people go straight to Caddyshack, the first film Ramis directed. Many recall Stripes as their fave, and some even prefer the camp of Meatballs in which Ramis and Bill Murray helped turn hopeless goofballs into gods and inspired us average dudes that we really did have a chance. But those aren’t my favorite Ramis movies either.
And how could I leave out Animal House (which he wrote) or National Lampoon’s Vacation (which he directed) or even Back to School which half of you are right now saying “back to what?” Hey, I even own Bedazzled and have watched it multiple times. It’s a comedy remake of Goethe’s legendary Faust, and I had a major crush on Elizabeth Hurley.
But none of those are my favorite Harold Ramis film. That honor belongs to Groundhog Day which Ramis wrote for the screen and directed.
If you’ve never seen Groundhog Day yet, somehow, stop your life RIGHT NOW regardless of whatever your doing and go see it. It’s as close to a perfect comedy as has ever been written. But enough from me because I’ll just start quoting it and we’ll lose track of time, and unlike Phil Connors I don’t have eternity here.
Instead, here is the late, great Harold Ramis in a short clip talking about the meaning of his famous movie and how people from every spiritual persuasion have found exactly what they were looking for in the fantastical tale of a snarky weatherman’s existential crisis. (Gonna have to click link over as embedding is restricted).
Amazing to hear all that perspective from Catholics, Buddhists, Christians, Jews and more.
What is your favorite Harold Ramis film?