Think what you will of Bill Murray or Andie MacDowell, their performance in Harold Ramis’ 1993 movie Groundhog Day is a delightful little romp through the world of PunxsutawneyPhil and small town America.
One can take Groundhog Day as a simple comedy, a diversion from our mid-winter blahs. Murray’s self-centered TV weatherman gets what’s coming from him, with MacDowell and Chris Elliott’s original Larry the cable guy along for the ride.
However, if you’re inclined to put on your thinking cap, Groundhog Day—both movie and day—can be much more. What is it with this “Six More Weeks of Winter” thing? Growing up in Fargo, where we have 8 months of winter and 4 months of extreme heat, I always assumed the negative case was 12 more weeks of winter. Of course it’s 6 more weeks until Vernal Equinox as any calendar will tell us. Wouldn’t it make more sense if it DID see it’s shadow then that means the sun is shining, so it should be LESS winter?
Anyway…. the collective wisdom of Wikipedia gives us something to think about:
Groundhog Day is a tale of self-improvement, to look inside oneself and realize that the only satisfaction in life comes from turning outward and concerning oneself with others rather than concentrating solely on one’s own wants and desires. As such, the film has become a favorite of Buddhist, Christian and Jewish leaders alike because they see its themes of selflessness and rebirth as a reflection of their own spiritual messages. It has even been dubbed by some religious leaders as the “most spiritual film of our time.”
I have some other problems with the film, like the fact it was filmed in Illinois, not Pennsylvania, but I’ve got some of my own self-improvement to get done this Monday morning. Congrats to the Steelers, and by the way, bundle up. Phil just saw his shadow.