Thursday, February 2, 2012

"Groundhog Day"?

Imagine some foreign visitor to America struggling not only with the English, but also, and most especially, with our uncountable idiomatic words and phrases like, "Whatever", "back seat driver", "New York minute", "Groundhog Day".

"Groundhog Day"?

Yep, "Groundhog Day": a description of a day, or a situation, which seems exactly, in a dull, monotonous way, as the day before.  I suspect that now almost all Americans use the phrase in just that fashion.

But we didn't do so before 1993 when the eponymous film starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell was first aired.  That we do now is testimony to the enduring appeal and power of the movie.  If you haven't seen it, you really should make time for it.  It's underlying conceit is cute, it's reliably funny, it's romantic, and, if you're so inclined, it's quite provocative intellectually as well.

Whether you've seen it or not, do read this short essay about the film by National Review's Jonah Goldberg.  It was first published in 2005 and now is reissued each year, on the 2nd day of February, without fail, again, and again, and again....


  1. Reminds me of a classic I wrote back in the day:

  2. It's short, let me paste the whole letter:
    To the Editor:

    Senator Tom Harkin complains that the Senate trial makes him feel like the Bill Murray character in the movie ''Groundhog Day,'' because he ''just keep[s] doing this over and over and over'' (news article, Feb. 4). If this is in fact the case, the Republicans have cause for continuing to do their duty as they see fit. For through his varying reactions to the same repeated set of circumstances, the Bill Murray character evolves from a selfish, heedless sexual predator to a decent man who makes ethical choices. Perhaps President Clinton should view ''Groundhog Day'' again . . . and again and again.


    Colorado Springs, Feb. 4, 1999