I kind of love 12:01, the TV movie which had the misfortune to appear in the same year as Groundhog Day, which had the same basic plot. Because 12:01 uses its premise well, and has a pretty sweet love story.

Okay, so it's a slightly cheesy moment, especially if you haven't seen the rest of the film. But I still really like it, both for the explanation of why the whole world being stuck in a time loop would be so terrible, and for the sweet way that Jonathan Silverman rattles off all the stuff he's learned about Helen Slater: her favorite number, her favorite color, her favorite band, and what she wrote on the gravestone of her pet canary when it died.

I also like the fact that this movie has a science fictional explanation for the "time bounce" — it's a supercollider thingy gone wrong — and that Helen Slater gets to be a kick-ass physicist prodigy. A much better use of her talents than Supergirl.

The thing that 12:01 does that's really neat, and different from Groundhog Day, is that the main character is a nerdy but decent person who gets his heart broken every day. Every day, around 6 PM, Helen Slater's character gets gunned down by people who turn out to be connected to the reasons for the time bounce. For a good part of the movie, no matter what the hero does, he can't stop Helen Slater from getting killed over and over. And meanwhile, he's in love with her, even though she starts each day not knowing who he is.

It's not the greatest movie ever, but if you see 12:01 airing on Syfy in one of its occasional late-night repeats, it's definitely worth watching. And given that there are a few new movies that use the "Groundhog Day" concept coming out in the next year or two, this is a good movie to watch for comparison purposes. (There's also this and this.)

In case you missed our definitive list of "Groundhog Day" time loop stories, it's here.

Here's a review of the DVD, from DVD Talk.

[IMDB]