Year:  2020

Director:  Max Barbakow

Release:  November 20, 2020

Distributor: Prime Video

Running time: 90 minutes

Worth: $15.00
FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

Cast:
Cristin Milioti, Andy Samberg, JK Simmons

Intro:
...both Milloti and Samberg make a perfect couple...Given the absolute omnishambles that has been 2020, there will be a lot of people who have felt like they’ve been living the same day over and over.. This film is for you. 

In the time loop classic Groundhog Day, Bill Murray must relive the same titular day over and over until he finally becomes the right man for Andie MacDowell. Palm Springs, directed by Max Barbakow, treads extremely similar ground to the aforementioned Harold Ramis feature, but initially without the need for all that pesky self-improvement malarkey.

Sarah (Cristin Milioti) is in Nevada for her sister’s wedding and has spent most the big day at the bottom of a big glass of red wine. During the reception, she meets Nyles (Andy Samberg), a boozy, Hawaiian shirt wearing slob who also happens to be a boyfriend to one of the bridesmaids. Whilst Sarah seems pent up about everything, Nyles has a lacklustre approach to life, including knowing, but not really caring that his girlfriend is cheating on him.

Unbeknownst to Sarah, Nyles has been living the same wedding day for years. So long in fact, he can’t really remember what he did for a living before he got caught in the time loop. Having done everything he can do, Nyles has resigned himself to a Leaving Las Vegas existence, except without the actual ability to drink himself to death. Even if he dies, he just wakes up to start the day all over again.

When Sarah falls into the same time loop as Nyles, the two begin to share a bond of never having to look back and never having to worry about the future. Well, they have to worry about a crossbow carrying psycho played with relish by JK Simmons, who is also experiencing a time loop and pops up occasionally, but you can’t have everything, eh?

Dubbed as a Lonely Island Classic in the opening production credits, many will go into this expecting a big Samberg vehicle in line with Never Stop Never Stopping. Whilst Samberg brings his effortless charms to the film, along with the best confused face in the business, this is a subtler performance from the actor. His gurning and jocular apathy is a mask which hides Nyles’ fear of the unknown. If you’re always living out the same day, you can learn to control it.

Palm Springs, in some ways, is a sequel to a film with Nyles having already been through his adventure and is now on hand to teach Sarah the ropes. This includes, in one of the film’s numerous darkly funny moments, learning the best way to die in a car crash. Of course, this is all a giant allegory for failing to live up to our responsibilities by avoiding them at all costs. And it’s none too subtle about how it goes about showing that, as some of the dialogue is a bit tinny to the ear. However, both Milloti and Samberg make a perfect couple whose wheels are continuously spinning in the dirt, and you’ll cheer for them even as they drunkenly steal a plane and fly it straight into the ground below.

Given the absolute omnishambles that has been 2020, there will be a lot of people who have felt like they’ve been living the same day over and over, fearing what’s coming over the horizon. This film is for you. It’s for the people who are just too afraid to take that tentative step into uncharted waters. To be blunt, it’s for anyone who has been looking for a big hearted affair that embraces all of life’s opportunities.

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