How often is it that a movie or piece of music or any kind of art transcends what it is and has a genuine and significant effect on not only popular culture but also enters the vocabulary of a language? It’s not every day, that’s for sure. For our good vibes review this month we are looking at a film that has done exactly that. Celebrating its 30th year since being released back in ’93, this one is widely viewed as one of the greatest movies of the 90s and one of the greatest comedies of all time… That’s right woodchuck-chuckers, IT’S GROUNDHOG DAY!
Now, for those that haven’t seen it – you should definitely watch it, there’s a reason it is so highly regarded, but for now, allow us to give you a quick overview. The one-of-a-kind Bill Murray (who also happens to be in our favourite hotel movie) stars as Phil Connors, a conceited and wisecracking weatherman who visits a small Pennsylvania town to cover a slightly unusual annual tradition - ‘Groundhog Day’, where a Groundhog predicts the weather of the next 6 weeks. Clearly feeling such journalism is beneath him, Phil endeavours to coast through the day, get his work done and get out of there as quickly as possible. This is where the problems arise, a blizzard means he is stuck there for at least one night, and when he wakes up the next morning, he finds himself reliving exactly the same day as the one before. And so it goes, again and again. Phil continues to wake up only to relive ‘Groundhog Day’ again and again.
If you haven’t already figured, repetition is a key theme of the film and yet it somehow manages to remain entertaining, funny, and emotional without ever truly becoming repetitive, at least not in any kind of negative sense. We witness a journey for Murray’s character, where after wasting his time initially, and then becoming depressed, he learns some serious life lessons (as well as how to ice sculpt and play the piano).
If Bill Murray is perfect in this role (which he is), then Andie MacDowell is just as perfect as Rita, who is more than just your average love interest. As a character that brings genuine warmth and optimism to the movie, it is believable that she would be enough reason for Phil Connors to change his snarky, arrogant, and sarcastic ways.
As a hotel chain, it is hardly our place to get well and truly into the deep stuff, but it is worth pointing out that the plot of Groundhog Day prompted many different analyses and interpretations of the spiritual and philosophical aspects of the film. That being said, at no point does the movie feel too heavy, it always remains entertaining and easy enough to watch. It is perhaps this combination and that the film operates and works on multiple levels that made it so popular and successful in the first place, and then ensured its continued legacy.
This brings us nicely back to our intro, many English speakers will be familiar with the term Groundhog Day, which the dictionary defines as “a situation in which the same usually negative or monotonous experiences occur repeatedly or are felt to occur repeatedly with no change or correction”. Most of us have experienced this or felt this way before, and if the movie tells us anything, it’s that it won’t last forever, and that change can be good.
If you want to break the monotony of day-to-day life, a great way of doing that can be with a change of scenery. We can’t offer you small-town Pennsylvania, but we do have over twenty hotels in Europe in some really interesting locations. They can be a great base for exploring somewhere new, or even just a different environment to do what you would at home.
Find your escape here.