Table of contents

Groundhog Day 2

On love & law

The supposition that we move ourselves, that we are not determined by external actions, underlies both options, because it underlies the possibility of action. Considering success & failure requires reflection on the soul.

Thereafter, Phil tries to prove the day is not repeating itself. He even hopes to sleep it off, supposing it a dream. He unfortunately fails. It turns out things really are what they seem. He hopes his producer can help; he calls in a creative meeting. When once he becomes resigned, he realizes he would rather relive a day with exotic food, cocktails, & sex.

Thereafter, he abandons the little politeness he knew: I’m not gonna live by their rules anymore. You make choices & you live with them. The hicks he had declared contemptible suggest no tomorrow means no consequences. Thereafter, he outdoes them in recklessness. He changes into a tyrant. Joyriding & chases with cops lead the way to the pleasures of the table & sex. The laws rest on punishment, which he learns not to fear. Thereafter, he says he does not worry anymore. This lawlessness is the consequence of his foreknowledge.

He finds he cannot seduce his lovely but earnest producer Rita in a day, though he comes close. Repeated failure leads him to self-loathing & suicide. His first suicide kills the groundhog, too. Phil then learns his problem has nothing to do with the groundhog celebration. Perhaps there is no public solution to his private problem. Repeated suicide fails to remove his predicament.

Thereafter, he takes Rita’s list of the qualities of a lovable man – the only list of virtues in the story – as the curriculum to his education. He masters the piano, French poetry, & ice sculpting. He also strives to do good for other people, saving lives & making himself loved. Finally, we may ask: What does Phil love? He loves Rita, who prays for world peace with every drink, loves the merry simplicity of life in Punxsutawney, & had twelve years of Catholic schooling.

Thereafter, he realizes he can make her fall in love with him in a day, if the city improbably vouches for his character. He can only seduce the woman lawfully. This turns out not to be too high a price to pay for him. He tells her, The worst part of eternity is not wasting it on trifles, but being forgotten by her. He persuades her of his immortality & thereafter begins to do good deeds. Eventually, he gives a speech about Groundhog Day that persuades the people of the goodness of their celebration. That night he participates in a charity auction where the women bid on him. Rita bids everything she has & wins.