Groundhog Day: still relevant today

Columbia Pictures

Groundhog Day is one of the most popular films from the 1990s. The movie surprisingly has a lot of commonalities with the years 2020 and 2021 so far, as both include experiences about feeling “stuck” and getting bored. The movie begins with the cynical and rude protagonist Phil (Bill Murray), a weatherman who has gone to the small town of Punxsutawney, Pa. to cover Groundhog’s Day, the holiday that celebrates the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil and his prediction on when spring will come. However, by some karmic gesture, Phil gets stuck in a time loop of that day and cannot escape. Throughout his repeating dilemma, Phil must learn to become a kinder person and find a way to break the loop.

The starting point of the film was Phil being cynical, when he did not care much for other people and showed zero compassion. While a character like this might be rare in everyday society, the fact that the writers made a character who is very pessimistic, yet relatable was an admirable decision.

The movie teaches an important lesson that some viewers may relate to, in the sense that many people look for their enemy, but they forget that their biggest enemy is themselves. And this movie teaches the importance of self-improvement and how important it is for people to show compassion to others, even during times of difficulty, such as the current pandemic.
While the movie’s message was great, Bill Murray did an excellent job in portraying Phil’s indifferent mentality, whether it was through his snarky responses to his coworkers’ questions or his belittlement of people he just met. Murray additionally did well in showing the character arc of Phil from an apathetic person, to a very kind and helpful person, by reducing his sarcastic comments and actually smiling.
Honestly, the movie does deliver with some very humorous scenes, an example being an instance where Phil drives off with the groundhog. The main point was that Phil finally started to look at his issues, and started to change for the better. Personally, this is my favorite part of the movie because it teaches a great lesson, that anyone can change their bad habits, and become a better person. Groundhog Day’s message, despite being more than two decades old, is still relevant and moving. Phil’s dilemma is strikingly similar to 2020, while many days may feel boring and repetitive, like the movie emphasizes, if we all help each other out and do kind things, repetitive days may feel like the blossoming of a new one.