The Accidental Swami
May 9, 2015 11:32 PM   Subscribe

Does Groundhog Day hold the key to existence?
In April 2013, Robert Black, a grad student at California State University, moved into a small apartment in South Pasadena. He and his wife of ten years had decided to split up, and he found himself spending much of that summer alone. He missed his kids: Hayley, Kieran, and Saer. “I needed something structured and regular in my life,” he recalled. On August 2, Black wrote a blog post entitled “On me in 3… 2… 1…” It was a line from the 1993 film Groundhog Day, which he had vowed to watch every day for a year.
posted by the man of twists and turns (23 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
I love this movie, but I'm curious. If one of the central themes of the movie is one of redemption, how many times do you have to watch it before another actor is cast as the female lead?
posted by buzzv at 2:56 AM on May 10, 2015 [8 favorites]


Keep watching it. Let us know.
posted by nfalkner at 3:27 AM on May 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


A year is just scratching the surface...
posted by fairmettle at 3:56 AM on May 10, 2015


Groundhog day II: "Waking from his dream of February 3rd; Phil Connors wakes up back on the morning of the 2nd".
posted by rongorongo at 4:20 AM on May 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


how many times do you have to watch it before another actor is cast as the female lead?

That's easy!

1993 -- Groundhog Day
2014 -- Edge of Tomorrow

2014 - 1993 = 21 years * 365 = 7665 times, give or take a leap day or four and the exact release dates.
posted by localroger at 4:46 AM on May 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


Depression is a hell of a drug. Me, I'd just watch Memento once backwards with a bottle of scotch and be done with it.
posted by spitbull at 5:08 AM on May 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


Does Groundhog Day hold the key to existence?

No, it's just a movie.
posted by sour cream at 5:19 AM on May 10, 2015 [13 favorites]


They should announce a sequel to Groundhog Day, and then just re-release the original.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:23 AM on May 10, 2015 [114 favorites]


Does Groundhog Day hold the key to existence?

Of course not. Point Break does.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 5:57 AM on May 10, 2015 [14 favorites]


Thorzdad: "They should announce a sequel to Groundhog Day, and then just re-release the original."

Even the feeling that I have heard this exact joke countless times before fits nicely to the theme of Groundhog Day!
posted by bigendian at 7:16 AM on May 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


The closing quote from the recent Entertainment Weekly interview with Alison Bechdel: "I'm not the greatest ambassador for the test... My favorite movie is Groundhog Day, which doesn't pass the Bechdel Test."
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:20 AM on May 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


As the article hints, it's not always the most profound and complex works of art that provoke us to contemplate our lives, their meaning and stir us to take action. Groundhog Day's a good example; it seems to have touched on some nerve in the collective subconscious. Yes, it's a movie. No, that doesn't mean it can't hold the 'key to existence' (awful phrase) for someone out there.

Last year, stuck in a really dark place (job/friends/family/rut/ennui), the final trigger that prompted me to take action, turn my life around and stop tolerating everything driving me insane (despite having read hundreds of books popularly considered much more insightful), was hearing the same extremely irritating Tim McGraw song three times in a row on a bar jukebox.

Got up, left the bar without a word, called my dad for the first time in a year, then my boss, then three friends. A week later, everything was going at least 60% better for me. Today it's infinitely better.

If you take away some message that helps you personally, the respectability and profundity of the source doesn't really matter.
posted by The Zeroth Law at 2:13 PM on May 10, 2015 [23 favorites]


> If you take away some message that helps you personally, the respectability and profundity of the source doesn't really matter.

This times a trillion. Even though your favorite _______ sucks.
posted by ostranenie at 3:48 PM on May 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


"I'm not the greatest ambassador for the test... My favorite movie is Groundhog Day, which doesn't pass the Bechdel Test"

Actually it does, because it has the three women who get a flat tire talk about the flat tire very briefly before they realize Phil Connors is changing their tire (See scene beginning at 1:40 here).

Note that this is the very definition of barely squeaking over the finish line, as far as the Bechdel Test goes. But at least Ms. Bechdel can rest ever so slightly easier.
posted by jscalzi at 4:45 PM on May 10, 2015 [9 favorites]


Groundhog Day! The only thing halfways decent on the cable network (movies chosen by the kindly but prudish Catholic priest) of the hospital where I was stuck, completely paralyzed, for over five months while my insurance company tried to figure out a way to refuse paying the bill. And just try getting a nurse's aid in to change a channel, so it was basically Groundhog Day, five times a day back to back, for five months. I lived that fucker.

It's a testament to Bill Murray that I didn't completely wig out and gnaw through my ventilator tubing.
posted by Soliloquy at 5:06 PM on May 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


Ultimately all you can do in life, is do a thing.

Then, do another thing.

And so on.

That's it: that's life.

This is either horrifying or liberating.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:36 PM on May 10, 2015 [10 favorites]


Ultimately all you can do in life, is do a thing.

Just be glad you're not Zhu Li. Or, if you are Zhu Li, carry on with the thing.
posted by sneebler at 7:03 PM on May 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Aren't we all, in a sense, Zhu Li? Or, shouldn't we try to be?
posted by signal at 7:50 PM on May 10, 2015


CONSCIOUSNESS IS NATURE'S NIGHTMARE
posted by sylvanshine at 10:47 PM on May 10, 2015


The repetition ends when Bill Murray's character loses his selfishness, has gratitude for the day just lived and loves the girl not just to get something. That sounds pretty spiritual to me, regardless of whether or not any such meaning was intended by Ramis when making the film.
posted by caddis at 1:26 PM on May 11, 2015


sneebler, you got me to finally stop lurking and made an account just to favorite your comment. Good job.
posted by numaner at 3:07 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Steely-eyed Missile Man: "Of course not. Point Break does."

Vaya con dee-us.
posted by signal at 6:58 AM on May 12, 2015


Note that this is the very definition of barely squeaking over the finish line, as far as the Bechdel Test goes.

If they don't have names--i.e. they're interchangeable extras--it doesn't pass. Womp.

posted by psoas at 2:06 PM on May 12, 2015


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