This February 1, revisit the classic Groundhog Day

This February 1, revisit the classic Groundhog Day

Charlie Connelly, Staff Reporter

Doesn’t it sometimes feel like every single day is the same? There is a specific routine that every person carries out within their day-to-day lives and whether it is admitted or not, the feeling of repeating the same old schedule day after day can weigh heavily on a person’s motivation.  For the average working man, it’s get up, go to work, go home, and do it all over again the next day. Of course there are many more complexities to it than that, but sometimes doesn’t it just feel like that?

If you think your daily customs are replicated though, just imagine living that same dull day over and over again. No control in stopping it, just living the worst day possible every day of your life. For weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray), that nightmare becomes a reality in Harold Ramis’ classic Groundhog Day.

Groundhog Day is the perfect comedy/drama that focuses on arrogant Pittsburgh weatherman Phil Connors who is sent on assignment to cover his most loathed event of the year: Groundhog Day.  However, once he gets to groundhog capital Punxsutawney, he finds himself face-to-face with his number one fear:  reliving Groundhog Day every single day.

Every single night Connors goes to sleep, and every morning he wakes up right back in his little bed and breakfast on Groundhog Day. Through many events, including suicide attempts and even courageous acts of valor, Connors realizes that he’s stuck in the same day because of his nasty outlook on life and the only way to get out is to live life to the fullest and live it with truly good values. Co-starring Andie MacDowell and Chris Elliot, Groundhog Day is an amazing film with true heart and an overall quality message.

The movie is now twenty years old and when it came out it was an immediate classic. Many credible sources acclaim it as such. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times gave the film a three star rating out of four, which sounds low but nevertheless is high praise coming from a man of that stature. Other online sources have given the movie well deserved honors as well. On Rotten Tomatoes 96% of the voters gave the movie a good review and as for IMDB (Internet Movie Database), it is rated as an 8.1. Regardless of the fame or the reviews that have been made on the movie, it is still a film of extreme excellence.  Ebert said in his Sun Times review that the movie has an It’s a Wonderful Life sense to it, in regards of a reflection on life. Whenever a film is mentioned in high regards especially in the same breath with It’s a Wonderful Life, you know there is something about the film that sticks.

Personally, the movie is one of my favorites of all time. Murray is simply spectacular as the role of Phil Connors. Before that role, he had always been known as the funny guy in movies such as Stripes and Ghostbusters. However, after taking the role in Groundhog Day, Murray’s acting career took a turn for the better and went on to be taken more seriously as an impressive actor and not just a funny man. Murray has gone on to say that the film shaped his career in an immense way and can say that it turned his career in the right direction. For being so impactful on a career, there is no doubt in saying  Groundhog Day was an extreme success.

The one thing I love most about Groundhog Day and why I think it is so well praised is because of the intangibles the film encompasses. The movie reveals perseverance, hope, good morals, and overall, a tremendous story that I think everyone can leave feeling good inside. The premise of falling into a time loop on the worst day possible is genius. It allows you to show the overcoming of adversity, and that is something that is always good to have in a film, regardless of the plot.

To many people, Groundhog Day is literally nothing special. Just another cold day in winter, but for myself and I’m sure along with many others, it is a great time to watch a classic. Every Groundhog Day when I was little, my family and I would watch the movie and every time I watched it, I loved it more and more. It shows the triumph of someone who was living life the wrong way and how he found his way into becoming a better person. Groundhog Day is still beloved by those who fell in love with it twenty years ago, and frankly that feeling won’t be fading away anytime soon. What makes a movie a classic is an everlasting story that through the years will be cherished no matter what; and that is exactly what Groundhog Day is.