Harold Ramis has worked in comedy a long time, and his career has taken many directions. With his work on the Ghostbusters (1984) script and his straight-man performance in the film, he managed to allow Bill Murray room to move and riff within the confines of a visual effects-heavy summer blockbuster. As for the meticulously crafted classic Groundhog Day (1993), I hesitate to call any movie "perfect," but it comes close. But then there were phoned-in hits like Analyze This (1999) and Analyze That (2002) that seemed too tightly wound and too slavishly dependent on plot to be very funny.
Ramis' new film Year One, on the other hand, comes closer to the spirit of his directorial debut Caddyshack (1980). I'm not saying it's quite as funny or as brilliant, but it's in the same spirit. It cares thankfully little about its plot or its character arcs, or historical accuracy; it's a bit flabby and careless, but it's also gleefully stupid, and it has the ability to knock you off guard and make you giggle helplessly.