Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pop Culture Rewind: Groundhog Day!

It’s Groundhog Day! And apparently, the breaking news is that Phil saw his shadow this morning, meaning more winter ahead. But, Phil isn’t the most accurate forecaster, so I hold out hope for sunnier, brighter days ahead.

While I’m bundled up with my hot chocolate, fire and dread of the next six weeks, I figured what better way to kick off the holiday than by doing a pop-culture rewind to one of my old favorites Groundhog Day! It is amazing to me how much has changed since 1993. Here are four random bullets/observations about this film seventeen years later (older and perhaps wiser):
  • In this day and age, I’m pretty sure you couldn’t sell a romantic comedy pitched on leads like Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. They both seem so painfully average looking in comparison to what flies as a romantic lead these days (that, or we simply need more than two pretty people to entertain us with the turn to large star-studded casts like Valentine’s Day is boasting).
  • Although lauded for its “originality” in terms of narrative, the film still always reminds me of Sure Thing.
  • It’s pretty sad that in the end, MacDowell only starts to take Murray seriously and fall for him when he puts her on the backburner. For much of the script, he tries to be the man she wants and needs, and then when he decides to put everyone else first (including himself), THEN she falls for him. I get frustrated with the repetitive representation of women in romantic comedies, always wanting the mysterious guy rather than the one that’s in front of their face and trying. I know it makes sense and sells tickets, but it bugs me in terms of gender expectations in romantic attachments. 
  • No one is better at depressed, pathetic, life contemplation than Bill Murray. Except maybe George Clooney.

1 comment:

  1. I would argue that the guy who always tries to put the woman first generally isn't stable enough. When the lead female disregards the man who is fawning all over her, it is likely because that character wants a true partner... one capable of standing on his own feet, who knows when it is necessary to define goals and worth outside of the relationship.