When I heard of Harold Ramis having passed away today, I was extremely saddened to hear this. For one thing, he was only 69, and I was hoping to see much more from him as an actor/writer/director. But it was also because I feel as if I owed him thanks for helping me get through a rough patch in my life recently. Ramis didn’t help me personally, of course; but, strangely enough, one of his films wound up helping me far more than I realized when I first saw it.
I had never seen Groundhog Day, which Ramis directed, until just about a year ago, which was about two months after my father’s death. Up until that time, I had only seen Groundhog Day in bits and pieces, never all the way through. And so when I saw it playing on cable (this was back when I still had cable TV), I decided to finally give it a shot.
In short, it was the first movie I had seen since my father’s death that made me laugh out loud. It made me forget my grief ever so briefly, and that alone was enough for me to be very thankful that Groundhog Day exists. So, thank you, Mr. Ramis; watching Groundhog Day made me realize it was ok to laugh, and in retrospect, it also gave me an ever so gentle nudge to move on with my life.
RIP, Harold Ramis.