Groundhog Day: Must Watch Movies #6
Groundhog day is an excellent comedy and an excellent romance: a perfect Romantic comedy but then its much more than that. It also has an an excellent moral underlying it…of course without being preachy. The story of our hero parallels that of Sisyphus. Sisyphus is condemned to roll a huge rock on top of a mountain only to watch it roll down back again…roll it up..it rolls down…tada…ad infinitum. In Groundhog day the protagonist (Phil Connors, a cynical, self obsessed, sarcastic weatherman played by Bill Murray) is condemned to relive a single day over n over n over (till he gets that day right.) He casually remarks once “Every day is the same. Nothing ever changes.” And the others agree, having no idea of Phil’s unique predicament. But Camus would have instantly seen what Phil was talking about. We all live our Groundhog Day. We repeat our same routines, go through the same motions as the day before, live our lives the same way.
Phil goes to a small town call PUXATAWNEY to cover an event called Groundhog day in which there is a tradition of a small rodent predicting the weather. He finds this absolutely stupid. Unfortunately he is stuck in this very day that he hates. For him it’s Groundhog day again day after day.
He realizes that tomorrow will have no consequences.So he tries to live it up (stuffing himself with food, seducing women, reckless driving, breaking all the rules). But eventually even this starts getting frustating n maddening & he tries to commit suicide…but no matter what he does he always wakes up into the same day…Feb 2nd, The Ground hog day. Realising this, his response start getting better n better, & he starts trying to improve himself taking advantage of the eternity he is stuck into. (The lesson or we could say the moral of the story is Sometimes we find ourselves stuck in situations that we absolutely hate & there seems to be no way out (much like Phil stuck in Puxsutawney on the groundhog day)…yet if we act proactively & choose to respond positively to it then the situation not only becomes more bearable but it actually starts to improve. Also trying to escape from the problem (akin to Phil’s suicides) doesn’t help. Phil actually starts enjoying his repititive days when he starts engaging himself fruitfully in learning piano n ice sculpting n being kind n helping to people around.)
Phil plans to seduce Rita (Andie MacDowell) and he implements his plan cleverly, discovering more and more about her — her favorite drink, the kind of man she is looking for. He has so much time on his hands that he learns to play the piano expertly because MacDowell likes men who play instruments. His scheme seems to be working but no matter how perfect his plan he simply cannot get her into bed in one single day — and every day he must start over with her from scratch. Eventually, however, he comes to realize that he really does care for her after all. When he realizes this he goes about doing good, no longer just acting nice but actually being nice.. She falls for him and they live happily ever after. In the process he has a total change of character…from extremely nasty to a genuinely nice human being. ( This reminds me of rules for being human: Rule #4: A lesson is repeated until learned. It is presented to you in various forms until you learn it — then you can go on to the next lesson.). As the movie proceeds though he is still reliving the same day over n over again he learns to choose better responses to the same situations. Instead of being irritated n frustrated he learns to be helpful n friendly. (Life is 10% of what happens to us & 90% of how we respond to it)
Phil meets Ned again n again with a different response each time (very funny):
Rules for Being Human: