How Change Becomes Inevitable for a Selfish Phil Connors as He Lives ‘Groundhog Day’ Over and Over

Filmmaker Michael Tucker of the video essay series Lessons From a Screenplay takes a look at the “Inescapable Premise” of the 1993 film Groundhog Day. The story primarily focuses on a selfish Pennsylvania weatherman named Phil Connors (Bill Murray) who is sent to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to report on the groundhog. While there Connor falls in love with his producer Rita Hanson (Andie MacDowell), though Hanson is completely turned off by Connor’s wretched behavior. Connor’s shallow narcissism combined with his pursuit of Hanson triggers something that makes him relive the same day over and over, without any hope of seeing tomorrow. Connor finally realizes that change is not only necessary but inevitable if he wants to go further on with his life.

…Phil is designed to be a character that seems like he could never change, dissect how the premise of the story traps him in a world that will constantly attack his character flaw, and explore how the relentless nature of the premise ensures that the protagonist will have no choice but to transform.