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‘Palm Springs’ reinvents ‘Groundhog Day’ formula into a fun 90-minute comedy

‘Palm Springs’ reinvents ‘Groundhog Day’ formula into a fun 90-minute comedy

‘Palm Springs’ reinvents ‘Groundhog Day’ formula into a fun 90-minute comedy
July 16
10:00 2020

Boy does the concept of waking up in the same place over and over again without an end in sight ring true right now. I love watching a quirky movie that focuses on how two people cope with spending meaningless eternity together. What’s a good comedy without a little (or, in this case, a lot of) existential questioning? Oh right, yes, “Palm Springs” is a funny movie.

When Nyles (Andy Samberg) and Sarah (Cristin Milioti) meet each other at a Palm Springs wedding, things get weird — the pair is somehow unable to escape the venue, stuck in an endless time loop.

Samberg and Milioti have undeniable chemistry and are equally hilarious and cute together. The film starts to push rom-com territory halfway through, and it works thanks to them. I want Milioti and Samberg starring together in every future comedy starting now, please. J.K Simmons, as always, is a wonderful addition to any project. It should be added that Samberg has never not been funny and he’s at the top of his game here. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you if half of his jokes are good, I just love watching him be a total goof. Side note, are we sure Samberg isn’t stuck in a time loop himself? I’ve been watching his comedies for years and I swear, the man does not age. 

When watching a film or show with some sort of riff on the time loop formula, the story typically revolves around a grumpy central character who mysteriously finds themselves stuck in an endless loop repeating a single day. What’s distinct about “Palm Springs” is it decides to dig a little deeper by adding a companion to the endless cycle. What’s always been the same for the genre is finding some sort of sick humor in repeating the same day indefinitely. Miraculously, that humor still works here (thank you, Samberg). I understand this is not the first, let alone the fifth time this type of movie has been done, but I always seem to enjoy them. Every time I think I’ve had enough, something else comes out and reinvents the trope in its own way. Just as the fatigue was really setting in, we got Samberg in a semi-nuanced role, and that’s all I needed to hear. 

No matter your opinion on the “Groundhog Day” genre (is that what we’re calling it now?), I think we can all agree that they’re led by some compelling and unique performances. Whether it’s “Groundhog Day,” “Edge of Tomorrow” or most recently “Russian Doll,” they’re helmed by insane leading roles. I think we can also agree that while each new entry in the genre is fun in its own way, none reach the heights of “Groundhog Day.” The thing is, I never wanted nor expected them to be, and that’s okay. “Palm Springs” separates itself from the rest because this time around, we get two of those said roles, and I can’t decide who’s is better. I’ve seen Milioti in things here and there, most noticeably “Black Mirror’s” episode “USS Callister,” so I was happy to see that she (literally) shines in this role. Samberg plays a drunken, carefree guy, who’s a little more down than his usual role. The dynamic between the two leads is everything I could’ve hoped for. 

By the way, have I mentioned that this movie is about a time loop? Is it getting annoying? That’s how the characters feel. Moving forward, I advise trying not to think too hard about the logic behind the time stuff. At this point just go with it. With a clean 90-minute runtime, just when the plot starts to wear thin, it wraps up smoothly. I think a short and quirky Lonely Island spin on a conventional tale is exactly what we needed right now. 

Final rating: 3.75/5

Featured image: Courtesy Hulu

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Dawson Turner

Dawson Turner

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