Movie Review: Palm Springs (2020)

Directed by Max Barbakow in his feature film debut, Palm Springs is a 2020 si-fi/rom-com. Nyles (Andy Samberg) awakens at a wedding, where he breezes through the day drinking, before meeting Sarah (Cristin Milioti), and impressing her with his knowledge of everyone at the wedding. He soon reveals the truth: he has been stuck in a time loop, reliving this same day over and over. When Sarah wakes up the next morning, reliving the same day, she goes to Nyles for answers.

+ the chemistry between Samberg and Milotti is really great. Nyles’ jaded nature and very dark humour clashes perfectly with Sarah’s manic disbelief of the situation, and the two coming to terms with being stranded with each other makes for the majority of the film’s comedic, heart-warming or sadder moments. I know I shouldn’t be, but I am always still surprised that Samberg is an actual actor, not just that “Jizz in my Pants” guy from SNL
+ personal favourite J.K. Simmons has a smaller role as Roy, another guest at the wedding, with a personal grudge against Nyles. I won’t outright spoil it here, but it makes for some of the more intense and cathartic moments. Camila Mendes (Riverdale) and Tyler Hoechlin (the new CW’s Superman) have minor roles as the bride and groom at the wedding, each with a few moments of their own
+ a refreshing take on how a time loop is presented, if not the idea of a time loop itself. We begin the movie with Nyles already decades into his loop, and the loss of all hope of escaping, which contrasts nicely to the standard “follow the character as they realise what is happening” trope. Even the recently reviewed Boss Level, featuring a similar time loop scenario, was more about the early days
+ throughout the film, there are a few lines from characters that may imply something deeper going on, and there is some ambiguity in the ending, but it’s just open enough that you can make your own deductions about it all. It’s very well done

Should you see this film: Yes. This turned a not all-too-common plot concept (time loop) into something sweet and funny, and most importantly unique. I couldn’t think of anything bad to say about this movie.

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