One of the fun things about blogging is hearing different points of views. When I did my piece on Groundhog Day, I got to see that in action, and I could “see” from those points of view for a little bit. A nice little vacation from my own brain!
I had to agree with Kay that Andie MacDowell is not my favorite actress, and that her character, Rita, was a bit dishraggy. Ie: limp and wet, without much agency. I think Jilly pointed this out, too. It’d be a better story (maybe) if Rita had more power and characterization – but it also might be a different story. The point of Groundhog Day is that many of us live the same days over and over again, without much satisfaction. How can we break that cycle? Rita was part of the cycle, not part of the solution. And I think that’s the way this story has to go. Change must come from within, at least in this story.
I did learn a little bit about love, though, from Rita. How do we know when it’s really, truly love? I think for a romantic story, there has to be some sort of physical feeling – some fizzy whizbang that makes the reader empathize and melt a little bit. But, we’ve all read stories and seen in real life cases where the physical has not been enough for a Happily Ever After. He’s a good kisser, but he can’t keep a job, and he abandons his partner. She’s hot as all-get-out, but she can’t hold a conversation and terrible with money.
How do we know, when we can’t trust our heart?
Well, Rita gets proof. First, she sees the approval of the community. She’s not just relying on her judgment, but the judgment of other people. Second, she sees that he’s a good man to other people, not just to her. With these external validations, when Phil is put up on the bachelor’s auction block, she is spurred to acknowledge that she wants this guy, and if she wants him, she better win the bidding or lose him for the night.
She gets a third validation when she sees a snow sculpture that he’s made of her. She realizes that he sees her with a loving eye, and that she is beautiful. She feels this is the truth, and she trusts him. A lot has been said about “the male gaze” – I haven’t seen so much about “the female gaze” but being seen as beautiful or handsome can be a powerful aphrodisiac for either sex.
Of course, none of these are fool-proof. The loving heart is blind, the community sees only the facade, a partner may love and care for others but neglect his or her spouse, and of course, we know how an artist can lie. But all these things taken together . . . it could mean a Happily Ever After. At least, hope springs eternal in the human breast.
How do you know? Is it in his kiss?