ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"Palm Springs" Movie Review

Updated on July 12, 2020
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Palm Springs
Palm Springs | Source

We’ve seen Groundhog Day as a gritty alien-invasion movie (Edge of Tomorrow), an amusing pseudo-horror flick (Happy Death Day and its sequel), and even as a sappy bit of holiday cheese (12 Dates of Christmas), so what could possibly be left to do do in the world of infinite time loop movies?

How about throwing Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti into one together (there’s a first) and building a sharp and clever rom-com around them?

Hulu’s latest original Palm Springs is exactly that—an original and fresh take on an idea that, by this point, should be getting more stale than the ol’ “Die Hard on a [fill in the blank]” trope. Samberg stars as Nyles, a lovable schlub who has, for God knows how long, been stuck in the same day at a resort wedding in the California desert. When we pick up the story, he’s delivering a particularly poignant speech at the event, relieving sister-of-the-bride Sarah (Milioti) from the duty. They bond afterward and retreat to the desert for extra-curricular activities but are interrupted by Roy (J.K. Simmons), who shoots Nyles with a bow and arrow in what could loosely be described as an unfortunate archery incident.

Any hope we have of understanding what in the bejeezus is going on gets further complicated when the wounded Nyles crawls into a cave bathed in a mysterious red glow while warning Sarah to stay far away. She ignores him and unknowingly gets sucked into the same loop Nyles has been stuck in for years. And though he has resigned himself (and even learned to appreciate) living life in one day, Sarah doesn’t take as kindly to it, to say the least.

If that’s not enough of a mind-bending concept to get you fully invested in Palm Springs, first-time feature film scribe Andy Siara ups the ante by adding several more layers as we go (most of which would constitute spoilers), keeping the film flying along as it answers some questions and raises dozens more. Fear not, though—this thing is as unique (and ultimately satisfying) as they come.

Newbie director Max Barbakow proves his worth early on, guiding Samberg and Milioti (who share a fantastic chemistry) through what could have been a confusing and muddled mess to instead offer up a sharp twist on a plot that had no business being reworked for the umpteenth time. But the concept of having two people grapple with the time loop (one of whom is a seasoned pro) provides just enough of an added dimension that the film safely coasts across the finish line.

Whether Nyles and Sarah are orchestrating different ways to kill themselves, pulling off elaborate pranks, or even choreographing a happy little dance number to perform in the local biker bar (to hilarious effect), they make the most of their time in purgatory together. And the addition of the rock-solid Simmons as the antagonist (as if their being stuck in a time loop isn’t bad enough) makes it all that much more fun.

Proving that there’s always a way to add a new wrinkle to a been-there-done-that concept, Palm Springs lands as a charming, delightful, and completely entertaining twist in the long line of Groundhog Day-inspired films. In a time when every day seems to blur together anyway, a wholly inventive live-die-repeat movie feels just about perfect.

Rating

4.5/5 stars

'Palm Springs' trailer

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Gunslinger4881 profile image

      Matt Brown 

      12 months ago from Pasadena

      Sounds like a great movie! Thanks for the review!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)