Themes In Groundhog Day

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Prominent since the genesis of silent films, the comedy genre of cinema endures as “light-hearted dramas, crafted to amuse, entertain, and provoke enjoyment.” While this statement certainly cannot be denied, comedic films can also dabble in providing something more than just superficiality for the audience. Specifically, in Groundhog Day, the film can be analyzed and “unpacked” for an audience to realize themes and lessons just as intricately interweaved with the plot as dramatic films. Although not reaching the artistic caliber that dramas attempt to achieve, comedies can also teach audiences about their own emotional reality, just through more straightforward terms. Groundhog Day serves as a prime example. Through the transformation the main character, Phil, experiences within the movie, the movie draws a fine line between the serious and the comedic. Phil’s catharsis of emotions in the film, transforming from selfish into selfless, allows audiences to draw out and analyze the effects of themes within the movie. Because Phil serves as an exaggerated version of the ordinary audience member, spectators of the film can analyze themes such as death,…show more content…
Gilbey in the BFI Modern Classic analysis of the film compares the film to older classics, such as It’s a Wonderful Life, and A Christmas Carol. All concern a male protagonist who is unhappy with their lives. Gilbey describes the similarity between It’s a Wonderful Life and Groundhog Day, stating, “Even on a first viewing the movie feels warmly familiar” (9). Members of the audience can draw this conclusion because both movies have a central theme of death and hopelessness. However, this is the extent into which the two can compare. In It’s a Wonderful Life, the whole movie is viewed through a dramatic lens. George experiences a hopelessness through a grim atmosphere, translating into a grim interpretation in the
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