Harold Ramis Responds on Groundhog Day

A writer at Wolf Gnarls calculated that Bill Murray spent exactly 8 years, 8 months and 16 days stuck in a time loop in the movie Groundhog Day. According to Heeb Magazine, the writer and director of the 1993 film Harold Ramis disputes those findings.
"I think the 10-year estimate is too short. It takes at least 10 years to get good at anything, and, alloting for the down time and misguided years he spent, it had to be more like 30 or 40 years… People [i.e. spaz] have way too much time on their hands. They could be learning to play the piano or speak French or sculpt ice"

Considering we are talking about a fictional movie containing a fantasy phenomena, the matter may never be settled to everyone’s satisfaction. http://www.heebmagazine.com/blog/view/2075 -Thanks, Liz!

You know, seriously, let’s just relax a minute here. Take into account the fact that this is a movie (not reality), and suspension of disbelief is a given, because in a movie that's a "fantasy” on top of everything else, you can’t possibly expect the laws of physics or logic to apply. Within the framework of a movie like Ground Hog Day, which is complete fiction, anything is possible. He could have been there for a few weeks or a month, which I was thinking was a reasonable guess. Who’s to say that in a fantasy movie the main character can’t learn to play jazz piano in a few days? Aside from that, who cares? But if we’re going to get really anal and insane about this, what do you imagine the residents of the world living outside of Punxatawny, PA were doing for those 30 or 40 years? Did time stand still? Did they relive the same day over and over again until Phil “got it right”? You could obsess about this forever.
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In the troper community we call this "word of god" when an author gets wind of a dispute and decide to settle it. Here's something though, how would you know how long you spent? Tally marks scratched into the wall would be erased the next morning, any scraps of paper in your pocket you may keeping track on would disappear. The only way you could keep track is in your head, which I'm sure you can imagine would be very difficult what with the madness and all.
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Yeah, the character himself would lose track of time, and even very smart people would be unable to remember how long it was (unless it was a short period of time).

In any case, when the writer of a fiction story says "this is what happened", that's what happened.
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Gail Pink, I'd never thought about what the world outside Punxsutawney might be doing during all of this. I ran this one past my husband (we're both fond of this movie and both have geek tendencies). His take on it, which makes sense to me, is that at the reset point (apparently at or shortly before 6am), Phil is pulled out of the flow of time and dropped back in at the beginning of the loop 24 hours earlier. To everyone else in the world, time just flows along as one continuous stream, with Phil being the only one for whom there's anything unusual.
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On the DVD, there's an interview with Ramis where he says that, in the original draft, Murray was supposed to have spent thousands of years trapped on Groundhog Day. However, they scaled it back in the subsequent drafts, but the feeling I got from the interview was that they scaled it back to a hundred or so years; definitely not under ten.
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