In honor of Groundhog day this year I am going to put in a plug for my absolute favorite movie of all time Groundhog Day. I’m not a movie buff by any means, but something about this movie really clicks with me. The film is normally billed as a comedy and there are many funny moments in the film, but its the rest of the movie that I really love.

Bill Murray plays bitter weatherman Phil Conners sent to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on February 2nd with a camera man and producer Rita to cover the festivities surrounding Punxsutawney Phil predicting if there will be six more weeks of winter. He hates the station he works for, hates the people he works with, hates being sent to cover Groundhog Day, and especially hates anything having to do with the town Punxsutawney. After he completes work for the day a snowstorm strands him in the town without even outside communication. Bitter he returns to the town and intending to leave the next day.

The next day however, starts very strange. Everything is exactly the same as the day before. He starts out thinking it is a weird case of deja vu, but when it happens again the next day he starts to freak out. It turns out that every time the clock his 6am Febrary 3rd, everything ressets to 6am February 2nd. This starts an evolution of his outlook on life. After his initial freakout, he realizes that he can do whatever he wants without consequences, and so proceeds to break laws and indulge himself however he can. Eventually this gets boring and he starts trying to get the one thing he hasn’t been able to have, Rita. He fails over and over again, eventually realizing that he can’t win. This leads to a depression which leads him to kill himself, but not even this can stop Groundhog day.

Finally he begins working his way out of his depression by helping  himself and others. He learns new skills, learns about and protects the people of the town, and simply becomes a better person. Eventually he becomes such a self possessed and impressive person that even Rita sees how great of a person he is and falls for him.

This breaks the magic of Groundhog Day and he moves on in his life.

I love the idea of this movie. Imagining what I would do in his situation is fascinating to me. I think Phil Conners is stuck in time for hundreds of years, and over that time he learns unimaginable amount of things. Forget the man selling Dos Equis beer, Phil Conners is the most interesting man in the world.

There are two themes in the movie that strike a cord with me. First whenever I’m feeling blue or bitter about something in my life I think to the idea of accepting the situation and gaining perspective is really powerful. “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff”.  I love watching the movie when I’m frustrated about something, it almost always helps me push on. The other important thing to learn from the movie is how to be happy in life. Being a powerful person or indulging your whims don’t make you happy, it’s again more about your mindset and social connections. I think it’s hard not to be happy when you’re a great person and surround yourself by other great people.