‘Palm Springs‘ is a Hulu original comedy directed by Max Barbakow and is co-produced by the film’s star Andy Sandberg. It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and had a limited theatrical run.
On November 9th, Sarah (Cristin Milioti) arrives at her sister Tala’s (Camila Mendes) Palm Springs wedding where she is the maid-of-honor. She meets Nyles (Andy Samberg), who bails her out of giving a speech. He flirts with her and when she inquires about his girlfriend Misty (Meredith Hagner), whom he reveals that she is cheating on him. They go out into the desert to make out, but are found by Roy (J.K. Simmons), who starts to chase Nyles while shooting him with arrows. Sarah follows Nyles into a cave where she is sucked into a vortex. She wakes up stunned to find it is November 9th again. When she confronts Nyles, he explains they are stuck in an infinite time loop and though she has trouble accepting this, he guides her into trying to cope with their plight. She agrees and though they have fun, she begins to wonder if she will ever have a future while stuck in the present.
I found this movie incredibly entertaining. It had some hilarious sequences, some memorable dialogue, and the principal stars have some excellent chemistry. Now, the premise is one used by Bill Murray and Star Trek, but I felt that this one did have its own unique story that had me laughing through it. The time loop provides lots of funny moments, especially when Roy, who is also stuck, comes to hunt Nyles.
It also had this interesting theme of living with your guilt. I found that expressed through comedy, it had some good points. Nyles warns Misty not to engage in terrorizing folks even though the loop keeps their victims from remembering it, the guilt weighs on them. Misty, however, cannot escape considering what she did on November 8th, but she wants to make things right. I also liked that it criticized nihilism and that it shows life does have meaning. Now, they did get their jab at Christians, but it was an eye-roll moment and nothing more.
Of course, it has to throw in some raunchy and dirty humor. I felt that it actually hurt the movie. You would be going along with the dialogue and the dark, violent humor then BLAM gross sex joke that was not even funny. Fortunately, most of that was in the first act of the movie and the rest more or less relied on the humor around the situation.
Bottom line, Palm Springs is genuinely funny with good themes discussing the nature of living and embracing the nature of happiness. Adam Sanberg and Cristin Milioti have some great chemistry, providing a lot of laughs.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Drug use, Sexual content, Violence, Strong foul language
FAVORITE QUOTE: I guess you followed me. It’s one of those infinite time loop situations you might have heard about.
Check out the trailer below:
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