An Ode to Groundhog Day


Today in the community of Punxsutawney a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil has done what he’s be trained to do for over 100 years: predict the weather. As the folklore goes, if Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his hole at Gobbler’s Knob and does not retreat back inside, it signify’s that the winter will end soon. However, if he sees his shadow and dashes back into his hole, six more weeks of winter weather will commence, which is what happened today in the small Jefferson County town of Western Pennsylvania.

But this is not a commemoration or a lesson framed around a celebrated rodent. Really, it’s not even concerning this annual holiday of Groundhog Day as an American tradition. Instead, it’s because of this February 2nd date that I have chosen to emphasis the greatness and cultural significance of the 1993 film, Groundhog Day.

Groundhog Day contains so many relatable qualities integrated with such profuse illusions that, although the romantic comedy specification is understood, it’s the structure and genuineness that propels it to, what I think, one of the more under-appreciated film’s of it’s time.

In a completely jumbled format, as is the film, I present a smorgasbord of Groundhog Day’s idiosyncratic characteristics.

The lingering, inconvenience-filled being of Ned Ryerson.

 

On crappy days, don’t we all encounter a Ned Ryerson? Some one who tells us to watch the first step, because it’s a doozy. Bing!


The recurring wake up.  

 

Only Phil Connors knows how many times he woke up to the clock striking 6:00 a.m. and the alarm song of “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher. But it happens on-screen over half a dozen times.


The validation that weather man Phil Connors, whose job revolves around prediction, is able to forecast much more than just a snowstorm.


The implications of deja vu through dialogue.

Phil: Excuse me, where is everybody going?
Fan on Street: To Gobbler’s Knob. It’s Groundhog Day.
Phil: It’s still just once a year, isn’t it?

Phil: Something is… different.
Rita: Good or bad?
Phil: Anything different is good.

Phil: You want a prediction about the weather, you’re asking the wrong Phil. I’ll give you a winter prediction: It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life.


Phil’s newfound ability to rewind time when he’s with Rita, which neutralizes their once precarious dynamic. 

 

I’m not sure there is a film that portrays the woman loathes man, woman understands man, woman falls in love with man formula more stimulatingly than Groundhog Day. 


The lighthearted depiction of suicide. 

The onscreen self-destructions by Phil Connors are:

1. Driving off a cliff.
2. Electrocuting himself in a bathtub (as seen above).
3. Walking in front of a moving truck.
4. Falling from a bell tower.


The jubilation of a new day for Phil, highlighted by the unveiling of his hidden, galvanizing talents.

 

Including this: A send off brought to you by meteorologist Phil Connors of WPBH-TV9 Pittsburgh.

 

Happy Groundhog Day.

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Categories: Film

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