"Okay, campers. Rise and shine and don't forget your booties, 'cause it's cold out there!"
"It's cold out there every day!"
If you've seen Groundhog Day — director Harold Ramis's pitch-black comedy about a weatherman (Bill Murray) living the same day over and over again — the odds are good that you can recite the above lines by heart.
The exchange between two Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, DJs has become one of the most iconic moments in a movie stuffed full of scenes deliberately repeated over and over again, the better to burrow into your brain just as they burrow into the brain of Murray's Phil. The brilliance of Groundhog Day is that it manages to put you right in the middle of Phil's perspective — which isn't always a fun place to be.
What's brilliant about this is that every time we hear the DJs, right after the closing strains of Sonny and Cher's relentlessly upbeat "I Got You, Babe," Murray's face — and Ramis's direction — tell a different story.
In the video above, which edits together all the times Phil has to wake up to the alarm clock's chirpy tune, you essentially get to see the trajectory of the entire movie in less than four minutes. Phil is confused, then excited. He's angry, then apathetically resigned to his fate. Finally, he makes it to February 3, and the woman (Andie MacDowell) he fell in love with during his many, many variations on February 2 reaches over him to turn the dumb thing off.
The script for Groundhog Day was adjusted between Danny Rubin's first pass and Ramis's revisions; originally, Phil was supposed to be stuck in his repetitive hell for 10,000 years. (If you're curious as to how long he ended up reliving his days, you have plenty of company on the ever-questioning internet.)
Still: "I Got You Babe" was always the song that woke up Phil day after day. When Rubin was asked why in a Reddit Ask Me Anything session, his answer was simple:
...if you listen to the recording at the very end it sort of winds down with a big slow "I got yououououou baaaaaaaabe." You think it's over, then it creeps back in: "I got you babe! I got you babe! etc" I thought this repetition was perfect. The timing never worked out for them to use it in the movie that way, but I guess because it's a love song and because even though it's catchy it would drive you crazy after a while, it was always a good idea.
In short, "I Got You, Babe" is perfect emotional torture.
But we're not stuck in a time loop (so far as we know), so in honor of Groundhog Day — both the movie and the nonsensical holiday in which grown adults beg an enormous rodent to release them from winter's icy clutches with the power of his shadow — why not crank up your speakers and embrace the cheesy wonder of "I Got You, Babe"? And don't forget your booties, 'cause according to this year's groundhog prediction, it's according to this year's prediction, it's gonna be cold out there every day for another six weeks.