Today is Groundhog Day, a day we can’t relate to so much, in this area of California. Nevertheless, when I was looking for story time ideas, I was reminded of a few fun books that relate to midwinter, and the promise of spring. These include:
Brownie Groundhog & the February Fox by Susan Blackaby
Punxatawney Phyllis, by Susanna Leonard Hill
However, it also got me thinking of the movie, Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray as a cynical weather man for a small news station who is living for his own pleasures and with disdain or disregard for his fellow humans. He meets another news reporter, a kind-hearted, and beautiful Andie McDowell. Murray resents that he is sent to Punxatawney, PA, every year for the “same old” stupid ritual: looking for the groundhog to come out of the ground and look for his shadow. The town of Punxatawney becomes a symbol of mindless repetition. SO, Bill Murray goes through his day in Punxatawney being rude to the waiter, yelling at a driver who almost hits him, and generally being a jerk. However, he tries to impress Andie McDowell’s character, and fails miserably. Then he wakes up the next morning to find he has to go through the same day again….and again….and again….
He tries to improve his attitude just to win McDowell’s affection. As he does this, he realizes he wants to be a nicer person for its own sake, not just to be with a nice person like Andie.
I love this movie because it makes a person think about all the ways we may feel like we’re going through the same rut. Maybe it’s preparing for job interviews over and over and over. Trying to improve each time, but finding the bar has moved/the expectations have shifted and expanded, as Bill Murray’s character found. Or maybe it’s passing an important entrance test or, yes, impressing that special someone.
It’s a humorous movie that can influence a moment of reflection, if one is so inclined.
In general, winter is a great time to catch up on some new or nearly new movies. I finally got to see Monuments Men, which was sadder than I expected. Art historians and architects at the end of WWII saving works of art before they could be stolen or destroyed by the Nazis as they retreated and headed for certain defeat. Several of these over-30 men, not fit for combat, risked and gave their lives for the stories of men and civilization to be preserved.
We have requests for books like 1001 movies you must see before you die / general editor, Steven Jay Schneider ; updated by Ian Haydn Smith
And, of course, with the Oscars coming up, you may want to get on the list for some of the Oscar nominees, even if they are not yet available on video for the library.
Happy viewing, and enjoy what we call winter — a cold day with some rain occasionally!