Love Takes Time: Rethinking Romantic Love: Before Sunrise and Groundhog Day

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Love is a serious thing that takes a substantial amount of understanding and patience to evolve. It is oftentimes wrongly used in place of romance, lust, or attraction, but it really is different. Like a gem, it takes a lot of time, intense heat, and crushing pressure to form, but once it does—it’s breathtakingly beautiful. Groundhog Day and Before Sunrise are similar movies in regards to the way they deal with love and romance. Each movie reflects a couple getting to know each other for one day, which, in that time span, would be impossible to fall in love.
In Groundhog Day, it took Phil numerous attempts to gain Rita’s love, spanning something like eight years (re-lived as one day), and Before Sunrise also took place over the course of one day. The many dates Phil and Rita went on reflected romance and attraction. There were definitely feelings between the two, it’s obvious in the way they spoke and looked at each other. Phil retained his memory each day, while Rita did not. Because of this, after multiple dates, he began to fall in love with her. This was hard for her to reciprocate, because each day she forgot their relationship entirely. This proves that while love can and does form over time, there is no way it can occur after only one day. Phil’s mistake was telling Rita his true feelings so soon. Almost every time he did, she got freaked out, angry, and promptly ended the date. This demonstrates the simple point that love takes time, not just one day of knowing a person.
Before Sunrise was exactly that—one day of knowing another person. The attraction between Jesse and Celine was clear from the start, which solidifies the point that attraction, unlike love, can be instantaneous. Right from the beginning, the two connecte...

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... truly in love, they would be inseparable and would not have left without exchanging information. The ending scene of them going their separate ways showed that what was experienced between them was romance, attraction, and lust—a one day stand—but not love. Love is just not as easy to walk away from, which is what they did in the end.
Each movie reflected the trials of romance and pursuits at love, but only one truly captured it. Groundhog Day did so because it focused on what love is about. It not only takes time, it takes knowing your partner at their best and at their worst, it takes knowing their each and every flaw, and then disregarding them as such a thing. It takes sticking by their side through both the small and large situations that emerge, but it is definitely not something that takes one short day to form. After all, a gem takes about 15 million years.
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