Monday, February 24, 2014

Spores, Molds, and Fungus: Harold Ramis Has Died

I seriously don't remember ever watching a movie before Ghostbusters. And I certainly don't remember voluntarily rewatching any movies before Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II.

Groundhog Day is basically a religious experience for me. It's one of my "I'm having a sad day" movies. It's a movie that I will watch on repeat all day even on days that are not Groundhog Day. I've even driven up to Woodstock, IL in the winter just to take a look at the shooting location in the snow (it's beautiful, by the way).

The emotional journey in that film is something that my mind will wander to frequently in everyday life. Especially the concept that Phil had, by the end of the film, repeated the day for decades worth of time. I always wondered how the hell he would return to life after having lived more life in that one day than before that one day. Would he have forgotten his address back home? Would he not know how to present the weather any more? Are there names of people that he lost during that time, just because he didn't interact with them during the decades he spent trapped in Punxsutawney? And how crushing would his love for Rita be by then, after decades of just trying to win her over and over and over again?

I, quite literally, just found out about Harold Ramis dying. And I got teary. Not just "Oh, that's sad." or "Oh, that's tragic." but honest-to-goodness teary. I don't normally get that way over celebrity deaths. And it's not like he was a spring chicken, right? Nor was he in the middle of a career renaissance. But... he was Harold Ramis. He gave us comedy that wasn't just funny but was also intelligent. He gave us stories that went in directions no one expected and let the characters experience things.

He was able to direct Bill Murray at the height of his Bill Murray-ness. And directed some of the best episodes of the Office.

Not to mention... Egon Spengler. He was Egon Spengler. Possibly the best geek ever put on screen (other than the Doctor).

Mr. Ramis, you will be dearly missed.

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