Since the pandemic has seriously crippled many a person’s summer plans, I can speak from experience on that, I think the collective have been starved for a real vacation escape. Hulu is trying to bring that with their new comedy Palm Spring!
Palm Springs features Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti as Nyles and Sarah, a couple of wedding guests that get stuck in a timeloop through unexplained means. However there is a twist! Nyles has been in the timeloop for a while, experienced the day a dozen ways over and now Sarah must find a way out, if one is possible, and come to terms with the day she’s waking up into.
The movie is pretty amazing. Like, it’s slow in the beginning and the quite well casted side characters don’t get a whole lot to do, but the movie is just so good.
Samberg and Militoni have an amazing chemistry that makes it really believable that they grow over the numerous, numerous days they spend together. It holds everything together and helps make it a really romantic movie, and uses the idea of being stuck in a timeloop as both a metaphor for dating, and is literally dating.
The comedy in this film is all very subtle. It is far more focused on the story, but the comedy present is hit or miss. It focuses too much on screaming or strange gags in place of quick wit, but are not a majority of the movie.
Out of the side characters JK Simmons is the one who gets the most. He is another person stuck in the timeloop thanks to Nyles and wants to get revenge for it. His arc goes deeper than that, but we don’t see it. It makes sense we don’t, but it’s still a missed opportunity. Same with casting Tyler Hoelchin (I’ll never get his name right) as the groom or Peter Gallagher of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist fame (fun to learn the actors name after watching the whole season) as the husband of the bride. It’s nice that they are there but don’t get much of anything to do.
I also find it odd that a movie promotes as a nice trip away is also about living the same day over and over, and the turmoil that comes from that. It’s interesting because many people still in lockdown, social distancing, or any combination therein cannot leave their house, and their day is the same over and over. The movie almost feels like it could also be read as a response to the feeling of loneliness, aimlessness, and that nothing matters. It’s about finding your peace and being happy with that, your own Irvine.
Despite the few shortcomings (look, establishing the day is important so we see the shift in status quo, but still goes on too long. It does make up for it by using the rest of the movie’s time to great effect) it comes together really well as a love story about moving on through life together, hence why there is a marriage in the background of the whole thing. The ending isn’t great, mostly last scene, but that is cause I’d want it to be more ambiguous about how it ends. Either way it’s just a solid character arc that uses its time loop mechanic to excel in the best, most creative way.
This movie is topping my year for sure (doesn’t take much I know, but even despite not seeing as many it still is great).
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