Developed Response – Pursuit of Happiness

Assignment I: Groundhog Day and It’s A Wonderful Life Hide Details

Out of the many movies we analyze in this course, I have selected two that I feel really represent the best cinematic portrayal of what constitutes happiness in the life of mankind: Groundhog Day and It’s a Wonderful Life. Groundhog Day may be the most misleading because on the surface it appears to be a funny Bill Murray vehicle, but it’s far more than that, it is an encapsulation of mankind’s quest for happiness, what works and what doesn’t. It’s a Wonderful Life shows a man’s life for what it is worth, what matters, what doesn’t, what ultimately brings the greatest happiness in life. It’s a Wonderful Life has become “THE” Christmas movie, apparently replacing A Christmas Carol. All three works are about human transformation and the coming to awareness of what true happiness really involves.

This first unit assignment will be a comparison of the It’s a Wonderful Life and Groundhog Day, to determine (a) what really brings happiness in life, (b) what really doesn’t, (c) what techniques these films use to portray happiness, (d) how the events that happen in the film reflect theories of happiness provided in the course documents for this unit.