A while back I wanted to make some sort of list, so I thunk up a bunch of sweet happy-ending movies and then thought of ways to smear my feces on them—because, apparently the space in my chest where a heart should be pumping warm blood into my system, a troll is shitting lumps of coal. I thunk long and hard on some of these happy endings and pontificated a spell on what the unspoken ramifications were of such endings. In a nutshell: I wanted to see what happened after the cameras stopped, after the characters continued living their make-believe lives.
And then I realized: fuck the list; I can make this a recurring feature. Here's another entry.
Groundhog Day (1993)
Dir. Harold Ramis
The Story: Bill Murray stars as Phil Connors, a curmudgeonly weatherman who dreads Groundhog Day and the annual trek his news crew must make to Punxsutawney, PA to film a glorified rat leaving its hidey-hole. For reasons unknown, Phil becomes stuck in time: He is forced to continually relive the same day, seemingly for eternity. Despondent at first (he kills himself so many times), Phil soon learns to accept his situation. He uses the endless time to master multiple arts—card throwing, pianer playin', ice skulpting, medicine—and soon becomes an all around, generally decent guy. It is not until he beds Andie MacDowell—and also helps lots of people and whatnot—that the curse is lifted and he can experience a brand new day.
What Happened After the Cameras Stopped: A rift in the space-time continuum causes the Bill-Murray-must-repeat-the-same-day-over-and-over-again mechanism to once again kick in. The catch: This time he is cursed to relive the same day until he gets everything wrong. When he realizes he is yet again reliving the same day, he thinks, "No brainer, I done this shit before." He takes his time getting to know his surroundings and learning how to make right all the various possibilities of wrong that would have otherwise transpired.
His inability to stop the mechanism this time, however, leaves him despondent. He goes into an alcoholic tailspin. Not only is he not learning anything new, but now the booze is killing all memories he once had of performing various skills. He's a sponge soaking up knowledge: except instead of knowledge, booze; and instead of a sponge, his brain; and instead of soaking up knowledge, his brain is doing whatever the opposite of that is; also, he gets dumb...and ornery, really ornery. He grows to despise all of those around him. It is not until he is at his lowest point, when his self-hatred and general despondency become so palpable that he harms all with whom he comes into contact, that he is allowed to experience a new day.
Now, everyone just thinks he's an even bigger dick than he once was. His life isn't terrible after this, mind you; it's just that whenever he enters a room, other folks give each other knowing eye-rolls as if to say, "God, this guy. Can you believe this guy?"
But yeah, life is mostly as it was before Phil became decent. Same old, same old.