You quote Brantley: "The citizens of Punxsutawney are first discovered prancing and crooning in ways you might at first mistake for a parody of the sentimental earnestness of another of this season’s arrivals, “Come From Away.”
and say: "Yes, of course, if it is done well, that annoying quality may become delightful... but when looking at the reviews as a whole, the sense I get is that it doesn't."
But I read Brantley's sentence the same as the lead paragraph in Robert Hofler's great review for The Wrap:
"Need an antidote to the saccharine good-time, small-town vibe of “Come From Away”? You’ll find it in the inventive, acerbic, and thoroughly irreverent “Groundhog Day,” which opened Monday at the August Wilson Theatre."
I suspect these 2 shows can in fact be viewed as 2 sides of the same coin; but based on these two reviews, I have no doubt which one I'll prefer.