Some call it a romantic comedy, others call it a study in self identity with existentialist overtones (whatever that means), but what strikes me most about the film “Groundhog Day” is how the story of self-consumed TV weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) and his bright eyed producer Rita (Andie MacDowell) would be different if it occurred today, in the age of social media.
In case you haven’t seen the film, the plot revolves around the Phil Connors character, who discovers that he’s forced to relive the same day (Groundhog Day) over and over until he is transformed into a better person through the power of love.
I’ve seen the film several times since it was released in 1993, but it wasn’t until I caught it on cable last week that I began to consider it within the context of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
That’s because a solid 13 minutes in the middle of the film are dedicated to a montage (see excerpt below) in which the Connors character struggles to learn everything he can about Rita – from her relationship status to her first job and favorite type of chocolate. His goal is to use this information to manipulate and seduce her. It’s unclear how many Groundhog Days the montage occupies in the life of Connors, but it is fair to conclude it’s several weeks if not months.
Of course today, the Connors character wouldn’t have to spend so much time and effort to learn about Rita — he could simply befriend her on Facebook, follow her Twitter stream and check out her LinkedIn profile.
So how would “Groundhog Day” be different if was set in today’s world of omnipresent social media?
I figure its running time would be about 13 minutes shorter.