For those that don’t know it tomorrow is Groundhog Day here in the United States (and according to Wikipedia in Canada as well). Growing up, this was my friend Brian’s favorite holiday. Groundhog Day is, according to legend, the indicator of how long winter will last. When the groundhog leaves his burrow that morning, if he does not see his shadow (usually because it is cloudy and overcast) then he will continue on his way and that signifies that winter will end soon. However, if it’s a sunny day and the groundhog “sees his shadow” then he will retreat back into the burrow and we will have six more weeks of winter.
In celebration of Groundhog Day, Encore (a US premium television station owned by Starz) will be playing24 hours of Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray. (Well it works out to 24 and ½ hours but I’ll let that slide). Bill Murray plays Phil Connors, an egocentric Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, during a hated assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, finds himself repeating the same day over and over again. After indulging in hedonism and numerous suicide attempts, he begins to reexamine his life and priorities.
The first time I watched Groundhog Day I didn’t really like it, and then I watched it again and enjoyed it. I think it is one of those movies that takes repeated viewings to understand some of the nuances and enjoy it. It’s also fun to try and figure out how long Phil (Bill Murray) was stuck living the same day over and over again (how long it took him to get the gist of his gift, how long it would take to master some of the things he did, etc).
Groundhog Day begins airing at Midnight Eastern and Pacific so be sure to try and catch at least one showing before the day is over.
Happy Tuesday and Happy (almost) Groundhog Day!