“Reliving Groundhog Day” by James Parker (from the March 2013 edition of “The Atlantic”)

I could either try to write about the brilliant 1993 film “Groundhog Day” (and am fairly certain it will come up lacking) … or just let you read this essay by James Parker from this month’s Atlantic Monthly which smartly and succinctly sums up why this film delivers some incredibly deep and complex philosophical concepts in a wonderfully entertaining and sweet package. As Parker says about the lead character Phil, played by Bill Murray: “He learns contentment, and he learns forgiveness, and he learns kindness. He sits in the Punxsutawney diner, happily reading—but he’s not just reading, he’s radiating Buddha-nature. It’s all expressed in the trajectory of his relationship with Rita. He wants her, he tries to seduce her—first with meanness, then by fraud, then with recitations of French poetry and engineered perfect moments. It is only when he gives up, when he accepts the blessing of her company, free from desire—at which point she, too, magically becomes a far more interesting character—that she is delivered into his arms.” That’s as brilliant an evocation of love that I’ve read in a long time.


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