Fans of Lonely Island should rejoice as Palm Springs (2020) finds its way to Hulu. The film stars Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti and is directed by Max Barbakow. It’s a new take on the Groundhog Day (1993) time-loop story.
Nyles (Samberg) is the boyfriend of a bridesmaid at a wedding, and seems to have his wits about him – despite endless drinking and relaxing in the pool. He ends up spending the evening with Sarah (Milioti), and accidentally pulls her into a world he’s been living in…well…that day, at least. She awakens and finds that its the day of her sister’s wedding again, and Nyles has to try and show her the ropes.
This twist on the formula of the time-loop genre (Groundhog Day, Before I Fall, Happy Death Day, and probably a few others) that are embedded in this movie helped move some of the tropes along. Having a character who already knows the loop and has been in it for an indeterminable amount of time adds an interesting – and, before now, unseen – dynamic to the story. Sarah gets what no one else in the genre has had: a mentor to help her transition to her new reality.
Samberg’s humor has been his best in recent years. Whether you’re a fan of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, or any number of Lonely Island related content, it’s hard to deny Samberg’s talent. The chemistry that he has with Milioti only ads to the humor, and makes the romantic side of this rom-com all the more impactful. Add in another solid performance from J.K. Simmons, and this movie is simply a joy to watch.
Palm Springs would have been great to see on the big screen, and apparently it is playing in some select drive-ins across the country. Despite the inability to see it on a large-format, the world is lucky that it’s so readily available to watch. It’s a lot of fun – but is rated R – so it’s not for all ages. I definitely recommend everyone who is okay with some foul language, a few dirty jokes, and a little bit of cartoonish violence to give Palm Springs a watch, as it earns the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.