It’s Groundhog Day!

Why the movie Groundhog Day argues against stalker-ism and isn’t as creepy as some may argue.

So, as a friendly reminder to all of you, on what is likely another frigid day for you, today is Groundhog Day.  I’m sure none of you have forgotten, as you were all desperately seeing an end to your annual tundric nightmare.  You are wishing vehemently to the pagan groundhog god to bid an early end to you snow covered wastelands.  Idolatry.  Shame on you.  Hippocratic me.  I see no problem with this.

Which has become my custom for every February 2, I have again watched the aptly named movie “Groundhog Day.”  If you fail to recall (which derides even greater shame if you do not), the plot revolves around Phil (Bill Murray), an ego-centric narcissist weatherman reliving the same day, February 2, over and over again, where (spoilers) at the end he becomes a much better man and gets the girl.  I know.  I was shocked, too.

I didn’t need to be reminded that Groundhog Day was coming, as it probably comes a close third to Halloween for me.  I did make it an even greater point to watch the movie this year after I had read an article this morning about a Netflix series called “You.”  As part of my I have far too much free time so I’m going to go through all the articles from Google News routine, I came across this article from the Guardian regarding the series.  The author argues that the tropes often used in romcoms are somewhat misogynist by showing how if the roles were reversed, it becomes a psycho-crazy woman instead of the romantic male.  My inner SJW agrees with the authors viewpoint.  This is why I had to BE SURE that I watched Groundhog Day this year.  The author mentions Groundhog Day in the piece to help illustrate their viewpoint.  And really, if you watch the movie, they aren’t wrong.  Phil does try and seduce Rita by learning everything he can about her, reliving the same day after day after day.  Let’s face it.  The whole notion, by today’s standards, is 100% stalker and super creepy.  But something that is missed by pointing out the creep factor of Phil’s endeavors, is that as much as he tried, he never did actually earn Rita’s love and respect.  His stalking ways ended in failure EVERY SINGLE TIME.  He may have come close, but he was never able to seal the deal. 
In the article, the author points out how the male pursuit is often considered romantic while the female pursuit is considered psycho.  I don’t disagree.  What I do disagree with is the author’s using Groundhog Day to try and support their argument.  His stalker tendencies never earned the respect of his love interest.  What earned her respect was the man that he eventually became.  Phil realized that he was a jerk and knew that he needed to change.  He had been given an opportunity to become the best person he could possibly be and he became that person.  It was only then that he earned the love and respect of his love interest Rita which eventually broke him of his curse. 

In today’s realm of social media, finding all you need to know about a person through a search engine and services is pretty easy.  I would likely call you a liar if you tried to tell me that you’ve never name searched anyone.  In a way, name searching is a way of protecting ourselves and I do not advise against it.  The internet offers a way of breaking through people’s exterior and seeing what they are all about—which can save us a whole lot of (butt) hurt in the end.  Groundhog Day tries to show that despite all the stalking (reminder that it was pre-internet), it isn’t what you learn about a person that makes them like/love you.  It tries to show that it is the person that you are that will determine what people think of or feel for you, while also showing that stalking will not help you achieve the affections of whom you are chasing.  As such, in this authors opinion, Groundhog Day still holds up as a great movie and should not be condemned in the same way that songs like “Baby, it’s cold outside” have.  Just like that song, there’s a lot more being said than what is seen on the surface layer.