There is an argument that is a review of Palm Springs, new to Hulu this weekend, should just say, “Check it out; it’s fun. Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, romantic comedy hijinks – just check it out.” That’s as much as I knew about it, and I enjoyed seeing it reveal itself, and when you’re ready to take my word for it, get on your way! Look at it; it is fun.
Well … what can I say to the rest of you who need a little more or who have already seen advertisements for the film that you can’t miss? Advertising that reveals the premise.
“”Marmot day at a wedding “is a shorthand that would not be a lie. More specifically: Nyles (Samberg) is caught in a time loop, similar to Marmot dayis Phil (Bill Murray). He spends the same wedding in the same place in Palm Springs where he sees the same people (including a friend he doesn’t particularly like), and the next day he wakes up and does it all over again. At the wedding there is a woman named Sarah (Milioti) who is the bride’s sister. Nyles is used to seeing and talking to her. It is part of the routine. But each version of that day is a little different, and for one of them an unexpected event pulls you into the time loop with it. Now she wakes up again and again on the day of the wedding and can not get out, and they only have to talk to each other, because everyone is happy at the wedding for the first time and only time, every day. Just like Sarah was always for Nyles until this happened.
Palm Springs was directed by Max Barbakow and written by Andy Siara, and although it bears the stamp (literally and figuratively) of Lonely Island, Samberg’s long-standing comedy store, it is also a slightly different shade of his person.
Especially when you see it a second time, you notice what Samberg is doing with his tired portrayal of Nyles. This is a man who has learned that nothing has consequences and (unlike Phil) he usually doesn’t like it (at least when we meet him) and he doesn’t take advantage of this fact to be mean; he takes advantage of it to be weird. He can give strange wedding speeches, meet whoever he wants, try anything, and none of it matters. So he keeps drifting through the day for no purpose. It’s dangerous to look for metaphors that are too literal, but if you made this a metaphor for how depression feels to some people, you wouldn’t be far away. Nobody understands what is happening to you and nobody understands how you feel. No one but you can see the futility of every day. So all you can do is sit back and be amazed at the stupidity that makes people care about anything.
And of course Sarah comes into this mess. Milioti is an actress who didn’t have many exactly the right roles in film and television. She can play very sunny and sweet like she did How I met your mother, but she’s a more interesting and emotionally angular actress. Here you really get it as the perfect romantic comedy lead and yet as a fresh one. This is a woman who can overcome her own shock and confusion to find a way to live in the time loop without losing herself, but she can also cut through Nyles’ self-pity and (frankly deserved) nihilism. Because it doesn’t take long for her to take a completely different stance on this version of the restriction than Nyles. Yours is something like We have to get out of here.
Palm Springs offers a great supportive turn from the reliable JK Simmons as Roy, a man whose stake in all of this would be unsportsmanlike to explain too much, except to say that the role requires Simmon’s ability to play dry and wise observers of the world. but also his flair for pure comedy. (Nobody but me will likely care that this is a reunion of Simmons and Peter Gallagher, who plays Sarah’s father and also plays on Broadway Boys and dolls when Gallagher was Sky Masterson and Simmons Benny Southstreet, right? Right, right.) Simmons improves 99 percent of the projects he appears in, and it turns out that a full-length buddy comedy with Andy Samberg is a feature film that I would love to watch in the future.
The thing with a gimmick like time loops is that the thing itself does not maintain interest. We saw that – Marmot daysure, but also in Edge of tomorrow, Happy anniversary of death and more. It depends on what you do with it. The good part of Marmot day For me, it has always been the easier observations of what this kind of life would make possible: amazing people by predicting what will happen, mastering a skill through endless practice, and so on. But the ugly part has always been the way Phil Rita (Andie MacDowell) intentionally manipulates, and the way it’s all about his salvation, solving his problem and giving him everything he wants.
Palm Springs is still a comedy, don’t get me wrong. But it uses the time loop idea to think about something interesting. A time warp is really a form of futility and struggle in which you have to find out what you get out of bed for every day. It’s not that if Nyles is kind and saved, all of his problems are solved. He’s pretty nice most of the time. The fact is that these two people have to decide how to add some sort of stake to their own lives, because if they wanted, they could really just float in the pool and drink forever at the wedding, and they could even join each other’s company have directions.
But, as it turns out, staying in the same place, seeing the same people, having the same routine is not a great life, even if it means that nothing particularly terrible is happening to you. We have to get out of here, indeed.