First Time Watching: Groundhog Day

I am taking a break from science fiction films. I would say it was an amicable split, but they’ve been haunting my dreams. There was one where a crocodile was chasing me, so I jumped a fence, but then it turned into a dinosaur and knocked over the fence like a domino.

It was a Gatorsaurus. I woke up and didn’t even know if it was a real thing, so I Googled it.

Well lo and behold, it was a monster in the 1960 film, The Lost World. The fact that I subconsciously created a Gatorsaurus, somehow combines two of the movies I’ve already seen for this series – Jurassic Park and Back to the Future.

I’m sure if I tried hard enough, I could make a connection to The Matrix, but the less I think about that movie, the better off I’ll be.

A few days ago, I watched Groundhog Day for the first time in my life. I now present to you my scattered thoughts, as they pertain to the film.

For some reason, I always thought Tom Hanks was the main character. Even when I saved the movie to my list on Netflix, I thought it was his face on the graphic.

Nope!

It was Bill Murray. You may remember him from such places as Chicago Cubs baseball games, or Space Jam. He was the guy who subbed himself into the game for the Tune Squad, even though he wasn’t on the official roster.

Yes, only I would associate Bill Murray with those two things and fail to mention his roles in other movies. You could probably guess why.

The opening credits reminded me of The Simpsons, as clouds filled the screen and names appeared on top of them.

I know Springfield is supposed to be a fictional town on The Simpsons, but in real life, it’s in Pennsylvania, which is also the setting for this movie.

Coincidence? I think so, but I also think not!

Bill Murray is a weatherman named, Phil (Coincidence? I think not!) who doesn’t seem to care about others. I guess that’s why he’s a weatherman – he doesn’t have to talk to people.

He just yells at the clouds, like Abe Simpson.

COINCIDENCE? I THINK…I’ll stop doing this now…NOT!

Phil, cameraman Larry, and new producer Rita, are all off to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to report on the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

Nope, check that – they are going there to cover Groundhog Day. Silly me.

It is clear – to me, at least – that Phil likes Rita, but in an, “I don’t want her to know I like her, so I’ll do nothing to tip her off” sorta way. And since that is the starting point of their “relationship”, you just knew they’d get together by the end of the movie.

So there they are, in Punxsutawney. The most impossible 12-letter word to spell correctly on the first try.

Before we go any further, I must tell you that the concept of groundhog day has always confused me.

If the groundhog sees its shadow, that means it’s a sunny day, so shouldn’t that be a sign that spring is coming soon? That makes logical sense. But no, it’s a sign that we’re getting six more weeks of winter and grey skies. Huh?

I think we have this backwards, y’all. No wonder the prognostications are always wrong.

Also, can we define “sees its shadow”? Does that mean the groundhog actually looks down and makes some sort of affirmative signal to the official Groundhoggers holding clipboards (I don’t know what they’re called, or that they’re even holding clipboards, but it sounds right) that it, indeed, saw its shadow with its own two eyes?

Or, are we – humans – the ones who observe that there is a shadow and proclaim the groundhog saw it?

What if there was a shadow, but the groundhog was too distracted by something else and didn’t look down at the shadow? Then what? A false positive? A positive false?

Groundhog Day was the original “Fake News” but no one wants to accept it because it gets a bunch of people out of the office, and allows reporters to smile on camera and actually mean it.

I said what I said.

So, I was looking forward to how this movie portrayed the moment where the groundhog was rudely awoken from its slumber, to act as a prop for a yearly lighting experiment.

One of the official Groundhoggers held Punxsutawney Phil up to their ear and acted as if the groundhog whispered to them.

“Six more weeks of winter!”

Are you kidding me?

Did the production crew forget a background light and improvised on the fly, or are we just supposed to accept the fact that a groundhog shares bad news, via a whisper? You would think they’d send an email.

Anyway, the whole point of the film is that Weatherman Phil keeps reliving the same day, over and over again, starting at 6AM.

I’ve always heard the phrase, “It’s like groundhog day” and I knew that it meant something kept happening, but I didn’t know what it had to do with Groundhog Day – the tradition.

Turns out, it has nothing to do with it. It has to do with the movie called, Groundhog Day.

Oh.

STOP ASSUMING EVERYONE HAS SEEN EVERY MOVIE.

I feel like I shout that in each of these posts.

The concept was cool and was explored exactly how I’d hoped it would be. Phil slowly tries to get away with more and more stuff, knowing he won’t be held responsible, and no one will remember.

One of my new favourite movie quotes emerged, when he was talking to Mrs. Lancaster at the hotel.

“Do you ever have déjà vu, Mrs. Lancaster?”

“I don’t think so, but I could check with the kitchen.”

That is so good! I am still laughing about it.

As Phil keeps reliving the same day, he turns into a terrible human being who treats Rita like crumbs at the bottom of a chip bag.

After his many attempts to win her over end with a slap to the face, he turns suicidal, and we watch him kill himself multiple times. I know the movie is a comedy and it’s from 1993, but I could’ve done without the whole suicide montage.

Once Phil realizes he has no chance with Rita, and that he can’t kill himself, he turns into a good person and uses his knowledge of how the day will unfold to save others from their misfortunes.

Through this, he is able to win Rita over and she agrees to stay with him all night.

Phil’s radio goes off at 6AM and Rita is still in bed with him. It is no longer Groundhog Day. Phil is not stuck in an endless loop. Life is back to normal.

Yay!

So, what caused him to keep reliving the same day? I don’t know. They didn’t tell us.

You would think they’d tell us! Surely, there must have been a hint in the early scenes of the movie? Don’t think so.

That was disappointing.

I looked it up and apparently they were going to reveal that Phil’s scorned ex-girlfriend put a curse on him, but they cut it out. Thank goodness.

I also read that one idea was to reveal that Rita was living inside her own loop. I would’ve loved that. I even wondered if that’s what was going on, when Rita kept rejecting Phil. There was a look she gave in one scene that I thought hinted at her being in her own loop.

Alas, no.

I’m sitting here trying to figure out why Groundhog Day was the annual tradition they decided to associate with the plot of repeating the same day. You’d think they’d go for Daylight Saving Time, or February 29th.

Maybe I’m missing something in terms of symbolism.

All things considered, I liked the movie! It was fun, it was 90s based, and I knew what was going on the whole time.

I do wish there was some explanation for the main plot point, but anything they presented would’ve been hokey, so I’m fine that they didn’t.

On a random note, Bill Murray had very good posture in this movie. Just thought I’d throw that in.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on Groundhog Day. I hope you enjoyed it.

See you next week, as this series continues!

Have you seen Groundhog Day? What did you think of it?

About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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10 Responses to First Time Watching: Groundhog Day

  1. I have not watched this movie, but it too is on my Netflix list. I just always pass by it probably because I hated “Ferris Bueller’s Day off” and I have always imagined they are like the exact same movie and the concept seems a little blah for me, like the same thing over and over? Didn’t Donald Duck do it better? Wasn’t there a nice little tv episode where he torments his triplet nephews? Did I imagine this? Who knows lol. Anyways, after your review, it’s still on the “meh” pile for me. It’s there if I ever get bored enough to watch it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Well, I don’t have any answers to your Donald Duck question lol I am #TeamDaffy all the way here. I will say, I thought the idea of movie based on the same thing over and over would be boring but they did a really good job switching it up and adding new components so it didn’t feel repetitive. You’re kinda right in that it was like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off but also not? I wouldn’t say this is a “must see” movie but I enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You never cease to amaze me 🤣 where are the ones from my recommendations hmm?! Lol

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Groundhog Day is one of my favorites! I’ve watched it over and over. Must do it again soon. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I watched a couple of time, and the only thing I remember about it is that Bill Murray takes advantage of his re-occurring day to know what will happen and why. Including the armored truck will arrive at the bank, and what will be said….lol.

    Like

  5. peckapalooza says:

    Gatorsaurus connection to The Matrix… It was a dream and, therefore, a simulated reality.

    I’ve always thought that some TV station should show Groundhog Day over and over again for 24 hours on Groundhog Day, the same way TBS does A Christmas Story for 24 hours on Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Perfect connection to The Matrix!

      That would make a ton of sense. Maybe there should be a TV station dedicated to showing movies all day that fit the season or holiday.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: What I’ve been watching | No Love for Fatties

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