- “Palm Springs” is a must-see movie this summer.
- Starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, it’s a unique romantic comedy about two characters stuck in a time loop.
- The laughs are non-stop and you really feel for what the characters are going through.
- It also delivers believable characters arcs, though the ending is a little lacklustre.
- “Palm Springs” is available on Hulu beginning Friday and also will be playing at select drive-in theatres.
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If you are in search of a romantic comedy that is smart, funny, and (dare I say) original, then you definitely have to watch “Palm Springs” (available Friday on Hulu and select drive-in theatres).
Produced by Andy Samberg and his The Lonely Island compatriots Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, director Max Barbakow has crafted a comedy that is destined to become a rom-com favourite for years to come.
The movie starts with Nyles (Samberg) waking up in the hotel room of a beautiful resort in Palm Springs, the area of Southern California known for its posh spas and desert locale. But something seems very off with Nyles. For one, he tells his girlfriend, Misty (Meredith Hagner), to kill him. Then as the day progresses he doesn’t seem that motivated to go to the wedding he’s there for. In fact, he doesn’t even put on a suit for the event, showing up in attire more suited for going to the beach. Then he hijacks the wedding by delivering a speech to the bride and groom that is so polished it feels like he’s done it a million times before. Has he? Is this even real life we’re watching?
What’s great about this movie is that for the first 20 minutes, you have no idea what’s going on. When the movie’s real plot finally sets in, you realise you’re watching something really special.
Here’s the best way I can describe “Palm Springs” without giving a whole lot away: It is a hilarious love story between Nyles and the maid of honour, Sarah (Cristin Milioti), who suddenly find themselves stuck in a time loop. How they got in that time loop and what they do while in it I’ll let you sit back and discover on your own.
Because you need to watch this.
Why you should watch: This is going to deliver the laughs you need in your life right now
For fans of the outlandish comedy of Andy Samberg (think “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” and the HBO special “Seven Days in Hell”) this is required viewing. The movie is a deluge of did-that-really-just-happen jokes that begs multiple viewings so you can appreciate them all.
If Samberg isn’t really your thing, don’t worry. The love story aspect is so good you’ll be able to deal with all the silliness.
Most surprising thing about it: You really care for the lead characters’ journey
As we learned from Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day,” being in a time loop can lead to a lot of self-reflection. The same goes for the lead characters in this movie.
This is where Cristin Milioti really shines. Her character Sarah has a lot of demons to explore while building a relationship with Nyles, and we get to witness a fascinating character arch. Milioti also has great on-screen chemistry with Samberg and her comedic chops match his.
Samberg as Nyles also delivers character development and growth. By the middle of the movie, he’s through with thinking up ways to get out of the loop – that is, until it might mean losing Sarah. Samberg’s performance has a believable vulnerability that we don’t always see from his roles. Despite how funny he is in the movie, his dramatic turn also sticks the landing.
The movie’s weakness: The ending is surprisingly unsatisfactory
Sadly, this movie does have one glaring flaw: the ending.
Don’t worry, we won’t give away anything. But after all the build-up, and all the fresh and unique plot points, the last part of the movie felt lazy. Personally, I was expecting more.
You’ll have to wait to see the movie to see if you agree.
The bottom line: It’s definitely required watching this summer
Despite that, the movie is a real triumph in the rom-com genre. Also, the attention to how the time loop works and the details put in for it to be believable were great. It must have been a complete headache for Barbakow and screenwriter Andy Siara to pull off, but it was worth it.
This really is the perfect summer movie that needs to be seen again, and again, and again, and again …