Sometimes mainstream comedies actually turn out pretty good and Palm Springs is one of them. It features familiar concepts and characters but still manages to stay entertaining and refreshing. This is the ye olde Groundhog Day type of comedy also known as time loop comedy with strong 50 First Dates vibes. This leads to some awkward questions like is Andy Samberg the new Adam Sandler (I think not), so we best move on. His performance here was awesome and I also loved Cristin Milioti, they make one really cute couple. I just remembered that Andy and Adam actually starred in the hilarious 2012 comedy That’s My Boy. Is that odd or what?
With a very entertaining atmosphere and sleek visual style, Palm Springs is one of those fo’ sho’ movies that you will enjoy watching. The scenes are well-thought-out and constructed with just the right amount of gags and humor. I can’t believe that this is the director’s Max Barbakow first feature movie. He knew when to pull back and leave the scene hanging and when to speed up the pacing. They even dialed-down the romance to not only acceptable but actually cute and engaging levels.
Nyles just woke up laying in bed next to his girlfriend Misty. The two of them are getting ready for the wedding they’re attending tonight. However, it seems that Nyles has a pretty good idea of what’s about to happen…
What I loved about Palm Springs is the brutal violence, self-awareness and finally unbridled nihilism. 2020 was the year when most of the planet was forced to stay inside the house with a lot of time on their hands. A time that could be used for introspection and further sinking in the inescapable quicksand of crippling depression. And I won’t get all philosophical on you comparing the time loop with our lives, with our couple going through this distillation process where carpe diem emerges as an answer to all life questions. I also won’t mention the similarities to the quarantine we went through with isolation, insecurity and uncertainty ahead.
In a broader sense, I will also skip the whole “welcome to the churn” thing. A thing where Nyles has already discovered the loop and is moving freely through time and space aware of the absurdity of life and reality compared to Sarah who’s new to the experience. And finally, I won’t delve into the “breaking out of your own loops and growing” thing here as it would seem pretentious. What I will say is that life is like an infinite onion, as you get more aware and conscious and you peel layer after layer you just cry and cry, knowing that it will never end. Until it does.
Well shucks, I think I fucked up that whole “I won’t get all philosophical” thing, but you know what I meant. Typical stoner existential crisis rant but what can you do. Luckily, you got Palm Springs to brighten your day and make you laugh. And if you’re looking for more movies featuring time loops I recommend you check out Edge of Tomorrow, Looper and Predestination. Now, these are all big, mainstream movies that might not scratch that itch you have, don’t worry, Rabbit Reviews has got you covered. Just check out Timecrimes and Retroactive, two much smaller but very intriguing hidden gems. And if you want to go berserk and really break your mind, you can always watch Reality. Enjoy.
Director: Max Barbakow
Writer: Andy Siara
Cast: Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, J.K. Simmons, Peter Gallagher, Meredith Hagner, Camila Mendes, Tyler Hoechlin, Jacqueline Obradors