A film, food, travel & lifestyle blog by Sophie Elizabeth

9 April 2021

Film Review: Palm Springs (Max Barbakow, 2020) ★★★★

Palm springs film review uk
(Image courtesy of Hulu/Jessica Perez)

Stuck in a mysterious time loop, two wedding guests, Sarah (Cristin Milioti) and Nyles (Andy Samberg) develop a budding romance whilst stuck living the same day over and over again.

At a time of quarantines and multiple lockdowns, a romantic comedy about being trapped within a evidently infinite time loop frankly could not have come at a better time. Unfortunately for us UK audiences, we had to wait a mere week before our third lockdown was lifted to enjoy it legally. Thankfully, though, the rest of the world and the audience at Sundance were able to reassure us that Palm Springs was a must-see and here's why.

"Today, tomorrow, yesterday - it's all the same" - Nyles (Andy Samberg)

(Image courtesy of Hulu/Jessica Perez)

The basis of Palm Springs is essentially Harold Ramis' Groundhog Day (1993) - but that's nothing to be sniffed at. Unlike Groundhog Day, however, Palm Springs is set in a sun-kissed desert resort in California. Every morning, a Hawaiian shirt clad Nyles (Samberg) prepares to relive November 9th for the umpteenth time. Stuck in a continuous time loop (in “one of those infinite time-loop situations you may have heard of”), he attends the same wedding over and over; attended by the same guests and accompanied by the same horrendous, obnoxious girlfriend, Misty (Meredith Hagner). His seemingly endless time warp quickly becomes more interesting, however, when sister-of-the-bride, Sarah (Milioti), also becomes entangled in his never-ending timeline. And, as you'd expect from a romantic comedy, hilarity and heart-felt moments ensue through-out. 

(Image courtesy of Hulu/Jessica Perez)

Whilst the narrative may not be the most original, Palm Springs still manages to be refreshing, stylish and funny from start to finish. Besides being pleasing on the eye with it's Instagram-friendly cinematography, a large part of the film's success comes from it's comedy pedigree. Produced by The Lonely Island (whom we can thank for countless memorable SNL sketches, comedy studio albums and Brigsby Bear) and starring Brooklyn Nine Nine's very own leading man, the project was already off to a good start.

Unsurprisingly, Milioti and Samberg are the perfect match, adding to both the hilarity and relatability to the film. Both are fantastic comedic actors who make each bizarre and charming scenario amusing and endearing. From dance-offs in matching denim outfits, to taking on J.K Simmons' character during his ruthless attempts to hunt Nyles, they are an excellent duo with range.  

(Image courtesy of Hulu/Jessica Perez)

With a 90 minute running time, Palm Springs is short and sweet. For the most part, it's simply a charming, romantic comedy - easy viewing that requires very little from us as spectators. That said, though, just like Groundhog Day it does dip it's toe into philosophical territory and border on the bleak. Much like any relationship (and those of us living with a partner during lockdown) Nyles and Sarah must navigate the reality of being trapped together for what could be eternity. Nyles has been in the time loop so long that he is unable to remember his life before it, whilst Sarah is harbouring a painful secret and regret from her past life which causes her to question her morality. These scenes do well to inject humanity and just the right level of conflict, without distracting too heavily from the humour and more heartwarming moments. 

(Image courtesy of Hulu/Jessica Perez)

Ultimately, Max Barbakow's feature-length directorial debut, combined with Andy Siara's writing, very much makes for a home-run. With a brilliantly charming comedic cast, a pitch perfect summer soundtrack, a touch of surrealism, and backdrop that's easy on the eyes, Palm Springs proved to be worth the wait for us Brits. Perhaps the comedy to beat this year, this wonderfully weird and witty rom-com might just become a cult classic - released at a time when all of us felt trapped within an endless pandemic. 

For those of you in the UK, Palm Springs is available now to watch on Amazon Prime

Well, that's it for another film review. I'm aware that I've very much been out of the loop when it comes to actual reviews lately, mostly lacking in motivation and the time to sit down and write. I am hoping to try and get back in to them, though, as I know my writing skills aren't quite what they used to be. I hope you enjoyed this one but, tell me - have you seen Palm Springs yet? What did you think? As always, I love reading your thoughts so please do leave your comments below. 

Don't forget also to check more of my film reviews.

Until next time film fans, 



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