Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day is more than just a movie. The tale of a man stuck in an inexplicable time loop, reliving the same day over and over until he betters himself, has inspired a wide swathe of followers. Buddhists, rabbis and Jesuit priests all find echoes of their religious beliefs and psychologist Paul Hannam has written two books based on the film, one a bestseller.
Humanity’s desire to better itself has powered many tales of retribution, but something about Groundhog Day’s mix of comedy and morality has captured the imagination. The film has become a classic with a cult following who will tell you, without irony, that the movie gets better every time you watch it.
It’s also a movie with particular resonance for the life insurance industry, since the only antagonist of the film is Ned Ryerson, the pushy salesman who insists he knows Phil Connors (Bill Murray) and tries to get him signed up to term life insurance. That old stereotype of the cringeworthy salesman who pushes into your personal space is well-played by comedy actor Stephen Tobolowsky, but it’s particularly funny it’s life insurance that he’s pushing.
Groundhog Day is a film about taking stock of your life, appreciating it and then making sure you hold onto it. Phil is a deeply unhappy person who takes that out on everyone around him, including his producer Rita Hansen (Andie MacDowell). However, as the day plays over and over again, he comes to realize that everything he needs is already in his life.
The movie is a great cautionary tale of losing sight of what’s important in life. And while Ned is the antithesis of what a good financial professional should be, it’s also a nice reminder of the values that New York Life espouses. That being good at life means looking out for those you love, and love starts with an action.
Go back to our newsroom to read more stories.