101 Funniest Screenplays

Harold Ramis read Danny Rubin’s script and imagined an updating of It’s A Wonderful Life. Rubin hadn’t set out to write a Capra-esque parable, exactly. “When I first designed the original screenplay, it was almost like an experiment,” Rubin said at the 2015 Austin Film Festival. “I wanted to plunk somebody down, this character, in this situation, and kind of watch it play out and see how it developed.” Ultimately, what brings jaded weatherman Phil Connors out of his existential crisis, as he relives each day into seeming perpetuity, without consequence, is his desire to change for the woman he loves. “It was really kind of a major change in the underpinnings of the script to change it from the experiment, the repetition, changing Phil, to having Rita change Phil,” Rubin said of Ramis’ influence. “But it is a romantic comedy, and we’re trying to cement those two characters.”