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February 1994


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Sterling <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 16 Feb 1994 23:25:00 EST
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Although one may trace the repetitive action to Capra or whoever, I be-
lieve it serves a different, and in my opinion "sublime" function in
Groundhog's Day.  As I believe a Boston Globe critic pointed out, this
repetition serves as a fantasy device to possibly explore existential
struggles or what not.  Yes, at time the film was cheesey or tacky and
the ending is especially unfit, but there was more intellegience behind
the film.  Although Twilight Zone might convey the philosophic search
better, the pop format of Groundhog's Day in which this search occurs
is interesting.  This search for meaning in a life where each day is
literally the same as the next is emphasized in that scene where Murray
is in the bar/diner with the homeless(?) guys, who reflect "That pretty
much sums it up" when Murray describes his fantastic situation.  Call
me gullible, naive, or unsophisticated, but I was convinced with Murray'
s characterization or whatever.  (But then again I like Scrooged.)
Maybe midlife crises are a literary cliche and such philosophic searches
are overdone, but Groundhog's Day is superior to something like Joe and
the Volcano or on the other hand something pedantically Woody Allen, in
that it is neither pretentious, heavy handed, but retains a sensitivity
and some sophistication to the philosophic search.  The film is clearly
flawed --particularly in the ending and perhaps Andie MacDowell's per-
formance-- but it deserves more credit than what pop films normally get
and more than just another film which steals the repetitive action
device.  (No, I am not implying that any screen-listers taking it as
such--just trying to make a point.)--Sterling Chen