Study Guide

Groundhog Day Setting


Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania

The setting of this movie is 95% limited to the small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania for one good reason: Phil Connors can't leaveā€¦ even though he wants to. After he has finished his TV spot for Groundhog Day, the first thing he wants to do is get back to his home in Pittsburgh. When asked if he'd like to stick around for more festivities, he snidely answers,

PHIL: I want to stay an extra second in Punxsutawney? Please!

Even when he's trapped in a blizzard:

OFFICER: You can go back to Punxsutawney or you can freeze to death.

PHIL: I'm thinking.

It's pretty clear that Phil likes the hustle and bustle of big cities and is supremely annoyed by all the simple kindness he finds in a town like Punxsutawney. He also realizes though that his producer Rita loves this simple kindness, so he tries his best to pretend that he likes it too. At one point, he tells Rita that, "Small town people are more real." Rita agrees, but the truth is that Phil still doesn't believe what he's saying.

It's only later in the movie that Phil truly comes to love the town he's been trapped in for nearly ten years. He finishes his TV spot for the thousandth or so time by saying,

PHIL: But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their [the people's] hearths and hearts, I can't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.

The nice thing is that he means what he says, and he now knows pretty much everything a person could possibly know about Punxsutawney on February 2nd.

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