It’s February 2nd, and that must mean it’s Groundhog Day…again.
No, there are no groundhogs in Australia, let alone groundhogs that can predict how much winter we can expect to have.
Not to mention that it’s summer Down Under.
One of my favourite films from the 1990s is Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. It is first and foremost a comedy, but it is a comedy that has a lot of depth to it. [Just checked on IMdB and am slightly horrified to see that this movie came out twenty years ago!]
If you haven’t seen this movie, I strongly recommend that you do.
Ever have regrets? Bing! Wish you could re-do some parts of your life over? Bing again. Well, Phil Connors (Bill Murray) gets the chance to do just that as he lives out February 2nd, Groundhog Day, over and over, while on a television reporting assignment in Punxutawney, Pennsylvania.
After getting over the initial shock of the situation, Phil branches out and tests the boundaries of his newly-found rewritable day. Every act he does is ‘erased’ and he miraculously gets a fresh start every morning when the numbers on the clock radio of his hotel room roll over to 6:00am to live out Groundhog Day again.
Eventually, the fun wears off and the tediousness of having to live the same day over and over becomes overwhelming, yet Phil still cannot escape his fate. His repeated attempts at suicide all fail and he finds himself waking up every day at 6 o’clock in the same bed to the same song being played on the radio.
Phil tries to woo his boss Rita (Andie MacDowell) and in the process learns piano, ice sculpting, and enough 19th-century French poetry to make an impression. He also learns enough about the townspeople and the day’s happenings to, at first, nudge things along to his advantage and, later, to help out others.
One of the things that was very interesting to me was the idea that while there are some things that could have a different outcome depending on our words/actions, there are some events that are outside our control. This was played out beautifully with the scene involving the homeless man. It was just his time and there was nothing Phil could do to change that.
Life Lesson? It is always the right time to do the right thing.
Happy Groundhog Day to all my North American readers!