It took me years to realize I was (am) a romantic. Fascinated by math and science, my future in Geekdom seemed preordained (especially given strong environmental direction—eh, I mean encouragement). When I wasn’t reading chemistry books for fun (sad, right?) I craved a good mystery. I devoured Ellery Queen Magazine within minutes of the postal delivery and I’d search every library shelf for a John D. McDonald book—of any color.
Assured love stories were not essential to being well read, I might have remained romance-destitute, but a librarian introduced me to Victoria Holt. And I was hooked. Confident no one knew what I read, I’d slip a Mary Stewart paperback inside my notebook. When I felt positive no one could see the racy cover, I’d escape into the steamy pages of a Kathleen Woodweiss historical.
Given my genre-confused past, perhaps it makes total sense that Ground Hog’s Day is my favorite romance movie. You say, “But GHD is a comedy.”
So true. And men love the movie (duh—Bill Murray) so the film will likely never attain chick flick status, but GHD has all the elements of a great romance. Not only does the unlikely hero (Murray) get the girl (Andie McDowell), he undergoes substantial personal growth. The conflict (Phil Connors wants to wake up on February third) and the romantic conflict (Andie’s character, Rita, hates him and his obnoxious self) is real and sustainable.
More important—we can all identify with the protagonist and his plight, or the hidden opportunity within the plight. I’d like to think I’d embrace the opportunity to relive a single day again and again. At least I would after I got over the initial “Oh, shi….sugar” reaction. Living in Ground Hog’s Day would be the ultimate fantasy. How absolutely wonderful to work at something until you master it: play the violin, cook like Bobby Flay, rework a scene until its perfect—without the passage of time.
I do puzzle over how I would complete a novel when every written word would be erased the next morning. What ideas do you have for having a finished novel on February 3rd in a Ground Hog’s Day scenario?