Friday, July 14, 2006

Why I love Groundhog Day

Anna and I had the pleasure of seeing Groundhog Day last night as a selection from Bloomington's Bryan Park Film Series. We took our blanket and hung with some hippies for one of the most light-hearted and enjoyable movies ever made.

One thing I love about this movie is that it doesn't get old. Sure, the outfits are a little dated, but the story itself is timeless. Phil (Bill Murray) the egocentric weatherman relives the same day (Feb. 2nd – Groundhog Day) over and over again until he finally realizes that life is better when he is friendly and helpful to the world around him.

It takes Phil a while to figure it all out (Harold Ramis "the director" said that Phil probably lives the same day for 10 years). As he relives his days he only becomes more and more selfish, lying, cheating and stealing until he finally tries to end his life (the most selfish thing of all). It is only when he figures out that there are people during his everlasting day that need his help, and that he actually cares what happens to others that he finds the path that will get him out of his problem.

There is also a love story involved, but as Anna and I discussed last night, it is not really the main thread of the film. If it was, Phil would have lied his way into the arms of Rita (Andie MacDowell), instead, Rita only falls for Phil when she sees that he genuinely cares for others. This is probably the biggest reason I love this movie. In a world filled with romantic comedies where guys (or girls) change their lives to win their love, Phil only gains love when he changes for himself. When he becomes a better person, because he feels that he should be one, then love finds him. Even if he and Rita never got together (their quick love story is the most forced part of the film) I would have walked away knowing I had seen a brilliant film.

But, I'm probably not saying anything that people who have seen the movie don't already know. If you haven't seen the film or it’s been a while (5 years for me), you should head out to your video stores dollar bin, gather the family around the T.V. and laugh until you cry.


At 8:36 AM CDT, Blogger Mom Nancy said...

We love this movie. My husband asked for it on DVD one year for Christmas (that and Overboard) and we drag it out every now and then for fun. Your comments are very insightful. Stuff I guess I've known, but never really vocalized. Makes me want to watch it again.


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