Saturday, March 12, 2016

Groundhog Day

Wake up, campers! It's COLD OUT THERE THIS MORNING! Okay, it's not, it's like 75 here in Virginia, but if you woke up to that every morning for 30+ years, you'd get used to it. This movie fascinates me as the only movie I've ever heard of noted to be religiously instructive for both Catholics and Buddhists. Both for generally the same reason - the perfection of the human soul through the cycle of time, though for the Catholics it's through Purgatory, and Buddhists through the cycle of reincarnation. I've also heard that it's become military slang for tours where the days all run together because absolutely nothing is happening, but that may be outdated lingo. Either way, what started out as a goofy concept by Harold Ramis about a guy cursed by a vengeful ex-girlfriend (a plot point thankfully cut) has become far more than that. This is another movie that serves as a cultural touchstone, which is what I thought most of the movies on the Registry were going to be. Sometimes I find myself confused as to why a particular film was chosen, but this one obviously falls under "culturally significant". Which is odd, because according to Wikipedia, this was a film that didn't generate a lot of buzz when it came out. It's one of those movies that you see and think "Yeah, this was a decent flick", and then eventually you want to watch it again, and on the repeat viewings, you realize it's brilliant. This film holds personal interest for me, as my mother actually grew up in Punxatawney, and I still have family living there. Disappointingly, none of the movie was filmed there - Punxie does not look at all like it does in the movie. I haven't been there in about 20 years now, but I remembered being surprised by that. But they do get the way a small town manages to be simultaneously charming and boring down pat. I don't know - sometimes I don't think I'd mind getting stuck in a time loop myself, just for the chance to acquire as much knowledge as possible. But then the one major hole that's overlooked in the film would come up. Phil is estimated to spend 34 years in the time loop. While he is shown to have spent a fair amount of time goofing off, rather than in self-improvement, he still has 34 years of extra study and knowledge in a young brain that other people just don't have. That's bound to make readjusting to others a bit difficult. With the time he had when he went in, he re-emerges a genius. It's actually kind of eerie if you delve too deeply into it. If Harold Ramis's original estimate of 10,000 years had been correct, Phil would have emerged from the loop practically a different species. Just something to think about. I would suggest that anyone watch this movie, and more than that, I would suggest they watch it a few times. This is a movie to be watched and re-watched so it can be fully appreciated.

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