Monday, February 2, 2015

5 Reasons Why - Groundhog Day is the Best Holiday Movie of All Time

The film Groundhog Day was released in 1994, and I remember actually seeing it in a theater.  I was squished between two of my friends, totally absorbed in the story of Phil Connors, a morally bankrupt weatherman forced to live the holiday over and over until he learns to play the piano and ice sculpt like a boss gets his life right.

I’ve seen Groundhog Day dozens of times since then, and it never fails to captivate me.  At one point I became so obsessed with the movie that my friends started sending me stuffed groundhogs in the mail.  (Yes, I totally checked their shadows.  #ThanksForAsking #SixMoreWeeksOfCrazy)

Hi, I'm Punxy.  Here to ruin all your spring plans.
I always see my shadow. Always.
A few years later my life was made complete when my mom and I finally took a Groundhog Day trip to the real Gobblers Knob in Punxatawney, PA.  While I probably won’t be making that pilgrimage again anytime soon, I will most definitely be watching the movie every year from now until eternity.  And since today is the glorious holiday of the hog, I want to scream from the rooftops that Groundhog Day is the best holiday movie ever made.  Here’s Why.

OneGroundhog Day is one of the classic classics.  The premise holds up so much that movies that feature a plot where the main character is forced to live the same day over and over again are generally called 'Groundhog Day' films.  See: Edge of Tomorrow and Source Code

Two – The movie is eminently quotable.  I have had an obsession with quotable movies over the years, and Groundhog Day is a quotable treasure chest.  My personal favorite: “Don’t drive angry, never drive angry!” 

Rejected SNL idea: It's Toonces, the driving groundhog!
Photo Credit:
Three – The amazing trivia associated with the film.  The iMDB trivia page for the movie is a treasure trove of fascinating nuggets about the movie, especially for an obsessive fan like me.  Some choice tidbits:  Phil was supposed to be trapped in the time warp for 10,000 years, but the film ends up portraying approx. 10 years, and Bill Murray got bit by the groundhog so badly that he had to get rabies shots.  I hope he got a bite or two of his own in.  It’s totally possible because Bill Murray knows no bounds.

Four – Which brings us to the man, the myth, the legend….Bill Freaking Murray.  That is all the reason you should need to watch this movie, but I do have one more up my sleeve.

Five – The movie presents a universally beautiful message about the inherent goodness in all of us.  It’s a story of redemption and self-awareness.  It reminds us that we’re all a work in progress, and that it’s never too late to start learning, listening and loving.

Oh, and if that message is too sappy for you the movie also teaches us that if you’re a horrible person, you’ll probably be trapped in a time warp for 10,000 years.  At least you’ll know all the answers to Jeopardy.

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