The bartender


Not sure if this has already been discussed or not, but I think the bartender knows what's going on. Maybe he's God or a higher power putting Phil through this. I've seen this movie at least 25 times and I've always thought he had something to do with it.

CLUES:

1. If he is a higher power there to observe, he purposely rarely speaks just observes. He never gives himself up to Phil. By the end of the movie, Phil knows about almost everyone in town but there's no evidence he got to know the bartender.

2. The movie is directed as such as they show the bartender in single shots almost if not every time Phil speaks to him. Why is such a minor character with very few lines get so many scenes of his reactions to Phil? I think this is a subtle clue the writers/director are trying to show us.

3. My opinion is that there's an higher power at work. Phil is a self centered jerk (to our pleasure most of the movie) but as he lives the same day over and over he eventually comes to care for the town and their people. Once he's became a better person, February 3rd finally comes. So with that said, it's not out of the realm of possibly that God is there watching.

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I always got the impression that the Bartender was somehow aware of the loop as well, even when I saw this as a kid but nothing ever happens to expound upon it. You put forth an interesting theory.

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Very interesting. I have it playing in a loop all day and will pay attention to this the next time. Your theory reminds me of the bartender in the final Quantum Leap episode, "Mirror Image."

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I was going to make the Bruce McGill comparison, but you beat me to it. Both Groundhog Day and that Quantum Leap finale happened in 1993 come to think about it.

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I always took it that, like most bartenders, he is very accustomed to people being full of bull$hit (especially when trying to get a little poontang), and he recognizes that quality both in Phil, and later in Larry, because he can recognize bull$hit without realizing it is a timeloop.

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https://www.reddit.com/r/FanTheories/comments/5ru7a3/groundhog_day_the_older_black_guy_who_bartends/

He clearly looks and shakes his head as if he's seen and used to Phil Conners ploy of ordering the same drink. I believe it's the use of a common trope of an elderly bartender being stuck in some sort of perpetual eternity. I base this solely off a 1-2 second shot of the character.

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Yes, this. I have seen this movie a zillion times, but I only noticed it this time. I think he may be a "Magical Negro" in addition to the bartender trope.

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I would post a clever reply,however, since imdb is erasing all posts and getting rid of the message boards in two weeks, why bother

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Sigh, I hear ya. But I figure as long as the person I'm responding to is likely to see it (thanks to email notifications), I'm still going to continue.

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