Starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell in their finest roles (well, for Murray, 2nd finest), this heartwarming comedy weaves the whimsical life of Phil Connors, a surly TV news reporter who becomes stuck in a seemingly never-ending time loop in which he relives the titular February 2nd in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the real-life Groundhog Day capital of the world.
Though the hour-and-a-half long flick is a perfect way to ring in the shortest month of the year, here are some bizarre tidbits surrounding the “Groundhog day”’s implications.
3. How long did Phil Connors relive February 2nd?
Now that I’m an expert on the “Groundhog Day” universe, the biggest question left in my mind surrounding the movie is just how long Bill Murray’s character takes to learn French, play the piano, and get to know everybody in Punxsutawney? Writer/director Harold Ramis once estimated 10 years; according to Wikipedia, he admitted he miscalculated and Phil’s time warp was something more akin to 10,000 years.
While there’s a huge swing in those two amounts of time, each are plausible. This video estimates the Groundhogiverse rotating around the sun for about 33 years before landing on February 3rd. Either way, it’s charming to see Phil charm MacDowell’s character for years on end.
2. How much did he test his immortality?
As Connors admits in the movie, he believes he’s a god. Throughout the film, we see and hear mention of car wrecks, electrocutions, burnings, drownings, shootings, hangings, and stabbings, all self-imposed by Phil.
But think of the variety of other ways this protagonist might’ve tested his limits. When your existence becomes an invincible small-town open world of Grand Theft Auto proportions, the death ideas don’t stop at those listed above. Call me morbid, but I think I would’ve been satisfied with “Groundhog Day” if it was just a 100-minute long snuff film.
Perhaps Eli Roth will write a sequel quenching my gore-core bloodthirst for Phil Connors’ unending death.
1. How did he integrate back into society?
At one point in the film, we see Connors drive a groundhog-laden truck off a cliff. Regardless of his law-abiding obedience, after years on the immortal circuit, I wonder how well Phil can get himself back into the laws of society, namely the one that says driving your car into a train will kill you.
Sure, Ramis’ frames this world’s implications in a positive light. It’s a universal truth that it’s fun to watch Bill Murray get loose playing music. But upon waking up on February 3rd, there’s got to be a part of him that bemoans his lost ability to punch Ned Ryerson in the face, consequence-free.