Groundhog Day

Legacy

The narrative of a protagonist trapped in a time loop, where escape is only possible after accumulating knowledge through multiple passes, is a popular trope in fictional works.[50] Rubin noted that with his script, he "stumbled upon a story with all the makings of a classic, so simple and true that it could be retold many different ways by many different storytellers."[4] Though not the earliest example, the trope has been named after Groundhog Day by the website TVTropes and other sources because the film established the trope in popular culture.[51] Such films as Edge of Tomorrow and ARQ have used it, as have television shows; one of the more recognized examples is The X-Files episode "Monday". Other genres, including sit-coms and dramas, have employed it as well. Pilot Viruet, in the magazine Vice, wrote, "Because of the inherent reset button the trope provides, an episode of TV can explore different scenarios, plots, character interactions, and outcomes—and if any of them don't quite feel right, the writers can start over (often with the ringing of a shrill alarm clock)."[52]

The phrase "Groundhog Day" has entered common usage as a reference to an unpleasant situation that continually repeats.[53] Goldberg paraphrased the common meaning as "same stuff, different day".[45] In the military, referring to unpleasant, unchanging, repetitive situations as "Groundhog Day" became widespread soon after the movie's release in February 1993. A magazine article about the aircraft carrier USS America mentions its use by sailors in September 1993.[54] The film was a favorite among the Rangers deployed for Operation Gothic Serpent in Somalia in 1993, because they saw the film as a metaphor of their own situation, waiting monotonous long days between raids.[55] In February 1994, crew members of the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga referred to their deployment in the Adriatic Sea, in support of Bosnia operations, as Groundhog Station. A speech by President Clinton in January 1996 specifically referred to the movie and the use of the phrase by military personnel in Bosnia.[56] Fourteen years after the movie's release, "Groundhog Day" was noted as common American military slang for any day of a tour of duty in Iraq, often as a successor to the World War II-era slang term "SNAFU" ("Situation Normal: All Fucked Up").[45][57]

In his Iraq War memoir Victory Denied, MAJ Roger Aeschliman describes guarding assorted visiting dignitaries as his "Groundhog Day":

The dignitary changes but everything else is exactly the same. The same airplanes drop them off at the same places. The same helicopters take us to the same meetings with the same presenters covering the same topics using the same slides. We visit the same troops at the same mess halls and send them away from the same airport pads to find our own way home late at night. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over until we are redeemed and allowed to go home to Kansas. Amen.[58]

In the 2015 memoir, Guantánamo Diary, Mohamedou Ould Slahi refers to the film twice to describe his ongoing confinement in Guantanamo, Cuba.[59]

Member of Parliament Dennis Skinner compared British Prime Minister Tony Blair's treatment following the 2004 Hutton Inquiry to the film. "[The affair] was, he said, like Groundhog Day, with the prime minister's critics demanding one inquiry, then another inquiry, then another inquiry." Blair responded, "I could not have put it better myself. Indeed I did not put it better myself."[60]

Events

The town of Punxsutawney has seen much larger crowds at the annual Groundhog Day event since the film's release.[61]

Since 1992, Woodstock has staged an annual Groundhog Day festival, featuring a dinner dance, free screenings of the movie, and a walking tour of the opera house, bowling alley, movie theatre, Moose Lodge (site of the dinner dance scene), piano teacher's house, Cherry Street Inn, and other locations from the film.[16]

On February 2, 2016, fans of the film in Liverpool experienced their own "Groundhog Day" by binge-watching the film 12 times in 24 hours.[62]


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