Donald Draper wrote:
I have read about the Groundhog Day disagreements. It amazes me that this created such a long term contention between them. Regardless of their different personal visions, the movie is widely considered a classic. Its not like it was a dud that they are trying to blame the other for its failure.
It went deeper than "disagreements," though. They had protracted, drawn-out, nasty
fights both on and off the set, and in addition to their visions of the film (Ramis co-wrote the thing and knew it was a comedy; Murray wanted to play it as some sort of existential drama -- I kind of understand why he loves working with Wes Anderson, now), both men got personal. Ramis supposedly brought up Murray's well-known infidelity and drug use in at least one argument, and Murray got even nastier. And then after Murray was done on the set, he went up to Ramis and said, "I have nothing more to say to you."
It's really an incredibly happy accident that Groundhog Day
turned out to be such an amazing and beautiful film, given that its director and star were fighting like feral cats at every turn.
Regardless, I find it interesting how strait the reveal of Stay Puft is played and how it never seems *too* silly (only a bit silly.) That's that delicate balance I mentioned before. It shouldn't work, but it does. Buggered if I know how.
Ramis and Reitman call it the domino theory of reality, which is to say that if you're slowly introducing more and more weird shit, then the audience can accept a hundred-foot-tall marshmallow man. Reitman isn't a particularly
talented director, but he's very good at giving you something patently ridiculous, then stepping back and saying, "Deal with it."