And here I thought I was the only one

When I first saw Groundhog Day, I was drawn to its notion of Carpe Diem

[Written in response to The Subtle Brilliance of ‘Groundhog Day’]

Groundhog Day poster

Bill Murray in Meatballs marks my days of questionable movie tastes in my youth. I was fourteen when the movie hit the circuit and I just had to see it. And as my tastes improved, so did the actor as he meandered his way through CaddyshackStripes and Ghostbusters. Arguably, Groundhog Day, was a Bill Murray that had matured as an actor, a watershed moment, sort of like the way John Travolta improved through his movie career.

Throughout the 90s I would unpack the whole plot of Groundhog Day in workshops to inspire youth to take charge of their own transformation. I would explain that the Phil being trapped in the same day was often what our own lives are really like. We may number them differently, give them different names and watch different weather conditions play themselves out… Our days are basically the same. And we have trapped ourselves in this monotonous routine.

The only way out was to acknowledge that we are wasting away with our lookalike days and then to make incremental changes. And if you focus on changing yourself, the rest will work itself out or won’t even matter. It worked so well, I remembered those moments and then deployed it once more to first year journalist students when I started lecturing. I then played clips of the movie because… well I could, as I had my class trapped for an hour a quarter!

And here I was thinking that I was this freak for holding onto an oldie such as Groundhog Day. So thank you Remi for adding in all those layers of meaning to a movie that I already believed is inspirational…

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