Traveler's Movie Monday: Groundhog Day

A couple weeks ago I started a new bi-weekly series, which is still in testing, called Movie Monday. Let me emphasize (see bold and italics), you do not have to have seen the movie to read or participate in the posts. I'm only providing a brief synopsis and narrowing in on short scenes or quotes, and therefore, not spoiling the movie. If you have comments or suggestions, and even if you want to recommend films to include, don't hesitate to email me at spencer.spellman {at} gmail dot com or by using the contact form. The premise is simple: I introduce a movie, narrowing in on a specific scene or quote, and then I ask a question for readers to respond to. Last week's Movie Monday featured one of my favorite new movies: Inception. The question I asked was: Has their been a time when traveling, maybe an experience, conversation, overlook, or something else, which was so profound and “out of this world”, that it felt like you were dreaming?

While there were too many great comments and stories to mention from the quotes, one of my favorite comments came from Katie, who said the following about one particular travel experience:

My dreamiest moment is from a NOLS kayaking trip to Southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage. It was one of the few nights that there were no clouds, so three of us sat out in the darkness after everyone had gone to sleep and stared at the stars – I mean the sky was saturated with constellations. All of a sudden we heard music; one of our instructors, Larry, was out on a jetty by the water playing on a Native American flute. We just laid on the sand and listened and star gazed. It definitely felt like something other-wordly was happening.

This week I'm changing gears. I wanted to switch things up, so I'm featuring a romantic comedy: Groundhog Day. Bill Murray plays snarky weatherman, Phil Conners, who travels to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to cover Groundhog Day. Punxsutawney is no booming metropolis, so Conners is ready to get out of town as soon as "Punxsutawney Phil" makes his brief, celebrity appearance. However, an incoming blizzard keeps Conners and his crew in Punxsutawney overnight. He wakes up the next morning, only to find out that it's Groundhog Day all over again. This pattern continues on and on, with Conners trying to break it, but to no avail.

An on-going theme in Groundhog Day is that maybe there's something bigger going on in life, and that there are some norms that are meant to be broken. It begs the question: Is life really this monotonous? After several days of waking up to Groundhog Day, Phil Conners, in a moment of frustration, states:

It's the same thing your whole life: 'Clean up your room. Stand up straight. Pick up your feet. Take it like a man. Be nice to your sister. Don't mix beer and wine, ever.' Oh yeah: 'Don't drive on the railroad track.'

Today's question is much more general and open-ended: What are some of those "social norms" that you may have heard over the years, whether travel, relationship, career, or family-related, that don't exactly have to be lived to a tee? Or, to put it more bluntly, what norms are meant to be broken?