Groundhog Day Movie Review

What would you do if there were no consequences?


Edward Goyao

In our day-to-day lives, it can often seem like we’re in a rut.  Every day feels like more of the same, and it can be hard to differentiate any day from the last.  Of course, things do change for the better, and these are the days that stick out to us years in the future.  It can be tempting to want to relive these great memories because it seems like everything went right for once.  On the other hand, could you imagine reliving a day that makes you cringe every time you remember it, a day that you hope to forget every time it comes up in conversation?

Groundhog Day stars Bill Murray was Phil Connors, a sarcastic weatherman who dreads his yearly trip traveling from Pittsburgh to Punxsutawney, a small town of a few thousand people, to report whether Punxsutawney Phil, the local groundhog, will see his shadow.  Phil covers the event, then immediately tries to leave the town, only to be stopped by a blizzard that he predicted would pass by.  Stuck in the boring town with nothing to do, he dejectedly awaits the next day, only to find out that tomorrow is yesterday.

Phil spends his first few days indulging in activities that any of us would do if there were no consequences: he pigs out at the diner, goes on joy rides, and freaks people out with his knowledge of what they were about to do.  However, as weeks go on, Phil sees no pleasure in these activities and the movie takes a dark spin when he commits suicide several times, only to wake up, bright and early, at 6:00 on Groundhog Day.

The reason we value time so much is because you can never get it back.  However, if you had essentially an eternity to live, how would you use that time?  Phil then takes up random hobbies to utilize his eternity more efficiently, becoming an expert in playing the piano, ice sculpting, and French poetry of all things.  “Six months.  Four to five hours a day, and you’d be an expert.”  In the final act of the movie, Phil uses his knowledge of all the local events to create the perfect day: saving a kid falling from a tree, saving a man from choking, and giving a thoughtful speech during his news report.

In conclusion, Groundhog Day is one of Bill Murray’s most iconic movies because of the strange and unique storyline and how he reacts to reliving the same day.  We can all see similarities to our own lives from that of Phil, and many of us can share in his “glass is half-empty” pessimism.  He saw Groundhog Day as a curse, but began to accept it as a chance to learn new things.  Sure, Valentine’s Day is the holiday that gets more love this month (literally), but seriously, how many movies can you name that take place on Groundhog Day?