[Editor's Note: In this series, Madeline Potts (a bonafide millennial) watches all the "old" movies she never watched as a kid. From Star Wars (we know, we were shocked someone hasn't seen it, too) to campy sci-fi movies from the '70s- she's going to take it all on.]
In this installment, to celebrate the day that a rodent divines how much more Winter we have to contend with, she's finally settling in to see what all the fuss is about in Groundhog Day.
Groundhog Day – the movie that it seems that everybody references, but probably hasn't ever watched. Really think about it, have you ever truly watched Groundhog Day from start to finish? In celebration of my family's favorite holiday (my grandpa even has a ceramic groundhog in its honor), I took the task on, sat down, and watched it in its entirety and it wasn't what I had expected.
Going into the movie I knew that the whole premise was a guy who kept living the same day over and over, I had no idea what he did or how many times "over and over" entailed (spoiler: its a lot). All I knew was that it was about a man, the same day, and somehow, a groundhog driving a car.
Now before I go any further with my review I have to admit that I'm a fan (or Stan as the kids say now) of Punxsutawney Phil. So when Phil (the weatherman, not the groundhog) kept complaining about how much he hated the celebration, I already had a bit of disdain for his character.
I mean who doesn't like watching grown men sing to a giant marmot while wearing silly hats? The answer is (or should be), nobody. So I spent the first twenty minutes of the movie finding more and more reasons to hate him. And when he couldn't leave Punxsutawney? I rejoiced because at least he was going to have a bad night and, hopefully, have to hear people talking about a famous groundhog.
From my childhood, I knew that he would wake up and it would be the same day over and over again. I didn't know that "over and over" again entailed an annoying song on the alarm clock, by about the fourth time of "I Got You Babe" blasting I was sure that it was going to haunt my dreams for the rest of my life. As I watched Phil go from an angry weatherman to an even angrier confused man Groundhog Day became something I never expected it to be, a delve into the human psyche.
By the 20th time, I was wondering what I would do if I had to live the same day over and over again. I'd probably break the law just like Phil did. I'd definitely confess my love to my crush. Above all, I most definitely would go insane. Throughout his time in Groundhog purgatory, you get to see Phil go from a slightly angry weatherman to a sadistic man who steals a groundhog and blows up a car and I don't blame him. Even as a viewer I thought I was having my own Groundhog Day. Scenes that had just played, played again with a slight twist and it became a little nauseating.
But then just like the beginning, it somehow started to surprise me again. Phil went from suicidal ideation to self-improvement. He went from trying to manipulate Rita, his new coworker he had a crush on, to sleep with him (yeah that was a slightly creepy thing he did) to improving himself to be the man she deserved. He learned how to play piano, he saved a boy from a tree and eventually threw a party for charity. And in the end, he woke up on February 3rd, with the girl of his dreams.
So what did I learn?
One, even if you're living the same day over and over again its never truly going to be the same. You have free will, and can make it as good or bad as you want it to be.
Two, and most importantly, at the end of the day, you should just be the best version of yourself that you can be.
Did I love Groundhog Day? Kinda?
Would I watch it again? Maybe?
POP network is showing the film on a loop, all day.