30 years ago, moviegoers got to see Bill Murray living the same day repeatedly. That was the plot of the Hollywood classic, Groundhog Day.
Phil Connors, an arrogant weatherman, travels to Punxsutawney, PA to cover the annual ceremony on whether we have an early spring or six more weeks of winter. Phil gets trapped in a time loop that makes his relive February 2nd over again.
The repetitive loop would soon drive Phil crazy and doctors have no explanation for what his problem is. He soon engages in dark things like seducing the people of the town for his advantage, committing crimes, and even binge-eating (remember that meme that circulates online during Fat Tuesday?). He experiences déjà vu as he is still trapped in the never-ending loop.
Phil is desperate to break the cycle. He turns to Rita, whom he attempted to seduce in the film, for help. Rita helps Phil to see it as a blessing instead of a curse. In the process, Phil develops feelings for her. From that moment on, Phil would use each day to help the people of the town by saving some from unexpected deaths and even being more enthusiastic in his news reports that would blow away the news crew near me and amaze Rita.
As Phil turns it all around, Rita would share all the good things that he has done for the people of Punxsutawney. He would even confess his love for her no matter how long he is stuck in the time loop.
The film even provides some lessons of faith that we can take away and apply in our faith journey.
Virtues Conquer Vices
The film shares a lot about how vices can overtake our personalities. For Phil, he went from an egotistical, self-centered weatherman to a selfless, caring human being. What can help us change is finding the right people that are willing to build us up into men and women of virtue as opposed to becoming selfish brats.
Phil was ready to give up as he felt like a prisoner in the time loop. He got to the point of ending his life. For us, our faith journey will have many curveballs thrown at us. It can be frustrating that we miss them. It is another that we keep taking a hack at them in hopes of a home run is hit. Phil had help and that’s how he didn’t give up.
Don’t Be Afraid to Learn About People
How often have we thought to ourselves, “I wonder how things would be different if I got to know him or her better”? It is common. I have been on the opposite end. Some will have quick opinions about others without learning who they are. This is something we need more of. We need to have a better understanding and learn about the people around us.
Use Downtime Wisely
Some of us went through a period of no work, were trapped somewhere because of inclement weather, or were placed on medical or family leave that gave up much free time. It can be used to do unproductive things like binging on streaming channels. Some may use it to recover from an injury or illness. Then, there are those who are out of work and hoping to find a better job.
Regardless of where we fit, the one thing we can do is pick up a new skill, or hobby, or delve deeper into church teachings.
Don’t Use Own Influence to Love Someone
For Phil, he was so overanxious that he attempted to use gimmicks and tricks about Rita to get her to love him. It failed. Being overanxious creates doubt around others and they’ll back away at the earliest opportunity.
Groundhog Day is one of Bill Murray’s best films for everyone. It teaches us the importance of helping others instead of being taken over by our self-arrogance.