Posted in Freedom Friday

Groundhog Day

Every February the second or so, my kids and I pop some corn, grab a few drinks, and ease into our seats in front of the TV to lose ourselves in the movie Groundhog Day. It’s been a tradition in our family for quite a while. Every few years even my wife joins in on the fun. What is it about Groundhog Day that makes me want to be a better person? Let’s find out and chalk my findings to Freedom Friday.

Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day

Let’s get one thing out of the way—this is not a movie review. These are random thoughts about a movie, how it’s affected my life and continues to affect my life from one year to the next. Besides, something about a guy who goes crazy believing he’s a god makes for an interesting story. We’ll get back to that a little later on.

If you haven’t seen Groundhog Day, the premise goes something like this: What would you do if by some fantastic freak event you had to relive the same day over and over again? I’m sure the comment on the tip of everyone’s tongue wouldn’t be anything less than, “It depends on which day.” What if it was the worst day of your life? Not traumatic, but a real bad day gone south.

I’ve thought about this long and hard. There’s no escaping it. I’d probably end up doing exactly the same thing Bill Murray’s character did when attempting to cope with his predicament:

  • I’d fall into a cycle of denial
  • I’d realize I could do whatever I want knowing tomorrow’s another day
  • I’d believe I was a god
  • I’d get fed up and want to kill myself (remember, he’s stuck in hell)

But you know what? No matter how bad things get something good always comes from something awful. That, without a doubt, is the message of the movie.

Groundhog Day clock
Groundhog Day clock

Without specifics, I’ve had to live through my own Groundhog Day, which I now embrace as something that has made me who I am today. Had I not gone through that experience, I certainly wouldn’t have gained a more focused approach in my ability to look on the bright side.

Someone said to me this week, a lesson not learned is a lesson worth repeating. I’m not sure if that’s a real quote but it makes for a great motto. Take it from a guy with a hard head—you crash into a brick wall a few hundred times, eventually it’s going to start to hurt. Of course then the question surfaces, why would you want to crash into a brick wall in the first place? Like I said, I’m a guy with a hard head.

Thankfully, I haven’t had to threaten kidnapping of Punxsutawney Phil or our beloved Canadian groundhog Wiarton Willie. Nor have I had to worry about dressing as Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name in order to consider myself worthy of popular opinion. Although I reserve the right to change my mind on that last point. A guy has to have fun once in a while.


Do you feel that sense of wanting to be a better person during Groundhog Day?


Jack Flacco is an author and the founder of Looking to God Ministries, an organization dedicated to spreading the Word of God through outreach programs, literature and preaching.

11 thoughts on “Groundhog Day

  1. I love this movie! Even if I didn’t have a deep and undying love for Bill Murray, I would love this movie. It blends questions about the meaning of life and destiny and how to become the people we’re meant to be with such great humour. Of course, Bill Murray’s perfect deadpan delivery doesn’t hurt, either. 😉

  2. I wish they had kept some of the scenes they’d cut… mainly that each repeat of the day he went to the library and read a single page of a book… by the time it all ended he had read every book in the library showing that he had basically gone through thousands of years… also that the reason it happened was because an ex-girlfriend basically put a hex on him… but it is something to consider… I think I would definitely do like him and go through the library… but with no repercussions of what you do because the day will just repeat who knows what one might ultimately be driven to do… when driven insane by being trapped in this one day for years and years I could easily imagine someone being driven to do much worse than just kill themselves…

  3. Great non-review review. : ) Preferred this to a proper “review”. I wouldn’t say that Groundhog Day moves me in the same way but I can see why it could. Great movie. : )

  4. I appreciate your candor in this post. Groundhog Day takes a long time to tell the story. Kind of like real life. As with the last day Bill Murray decides his only option left is to be a better person to the others around him and wakes to find his hell is over, each of us come to that point one way or another. Some, like me, take a number of years to achieve this lesson learned :/ Thank you for this post.

    1. I couldn’t have said it better myself, Leslie. Phil, Bill Murray’s character, tried everything else and discovered he went around in circles. It wasn’t until he decided not to fight it and be kind and considerate that he escaped his Groundhog Day nightmare. That’s when his life started making sense and in so doing, made him a better person!

  5. Watching Groundhog Day is a must. Visiting the Punxsutawney site also is a must. 😀
    Groundhog Day is a very suitable day for reflecting on how to show more respect for others, nature, etc. Ideally, we wouldn’t need special occasions.
    Happy Groundhog Day, Jack!

  6. What I find best about this movie myself is that Murray’s character – once he decided to do so – used his time to good purpose, changing who he was. And apparently he never aged, so…good deal. 🙂

    Great post. Of course. And thank you for the smile.

    P.S. Did you ever consider a major in French poetry? 🙂

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