The Pink Section of the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle carried a syndicated newspaper story about how Groundhog Day is increasingly becoming a popular cult film.
If you want the complete article, click on the headline. It will cost you $2.95. Here are excerpts:
...I'm a charter member of the "Groundhog Day" cult, a worshipper of the 1993 tragicomedy about a snide weatherman condemned to relive eternally a holiday he despises in a podunk town -- Punxsutawney, Pa. -- he hates even more.
...Like "It's a Wonderful Life," another grim but uplifting holiday movie in which the protagonist overcomes thoughts of suicide, "Groundhog Day" is starting to be appreciated as an American classic. Screenwriting gurus cite it as a model, and post-modern philosophers study its alternate realities. Its message of self-purification through struggle and repetition has been analyzed in religious treatises and appropriated by Buddhist, Christian, and Jewish theologians alike.
"I got into the film business dreaming of making movies like `It's a Wonderful Life' or more contemporary movies like `Being There,' " Trevor Albert, its producer, said in a telephone interview last week. "Movies that became American classics. I feel like I've got one in `Groundhog Day.' "
..."There are two types of people in this world: those that love `Groundhog Day' and those that can't appreciate it," a fan writes on one of three Internet home pages dedicated to the movie. "Our job is to exterminate this latter group."
If so, Stanley Cavell's survival is assured. In response to The New York Times Magazine, which asked him to identify "works created in the late 20th century" that will "still be discussed, viewed, read and cherished 100 years from now," Cavell did not choose a "Godfather" film, any Don DeLillo novel, or Seamus Heaney poem.
Giving an answer that is now pinned on Albert's refrigerator, Cavell picked "a small film that lives off its wits and tells a deeply wonderful story of love" -- "Groundhog Day."