Groundhog Day

By Antonio Argandoña

Groundhog Day is a classic film from the 90s in which Phil (Bill Murray), an arrogant and frustrated meteorologist who works in television, is sent to a small Pennsylvanian town on February 2 for the annual Groundhog event, which involves a groundhog supposedly foreseeing the exact date of the arrival of spring. But when the reluctant newsman awakes the next morning it is February 2 again without any change in circumstances, as some may feel is happening with Covid-19 forcing us to stay locked up all day at home.

The film portrays the despair of Phil, who hopes that circumstances will bring him the happiness he desires. But the circumstances do not change and since he knows what will happen each day, he takes advantage of others; he tries to dazzle Rita, his new producer (Andy McDowell), and commits suicide multiple times, only to wake up again every morning, again on groundhog day. Finally, he changes his attitude and begins to worry about others: he saves a child who falls from a tree, he studies medicine to save the life of a homeless person … the people of the town appreciate him, he confesses his love for Rita, who accepts him … and finally he wakes up on February 3.

The film contains some messages for us, confined to our homes. Let us develop our virtues every day. Let us promote knowledge through curiosity. Do not trust in good luck, but in our effort. And, like Phil with Rita, we will discover that virtue is what makes us really kind … and we will break the groundhog day spell. We cannot control the circumstances, but we can control ourselves.

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