Palm Springs ★★★★½

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This film completely crushed it. My expectations weren’t “low,” but they definitely weren’t above average. I expected this to be solid at most, and I was hoping it would at least hold a few laughs, but it surpassed every expectation. I won’t say it’s the funniest film I’ve seen in awhile (it definitely outdoes anything in 2020), but it has the most clever sense of humor. The premise is also extremely fresh. When carefree Nyles and reluctant maid of honor Sarah have a chance encounter at a Palm Springs wedding, things get complicated as they are unable to escape the venue, themselves, or each other. Andy Samberg is consistently funny. I love his style, and even though I haven’t loved all of his films, most have given me some solid laughs. He is perfect here. He’s subtle, laid back, and he delivers some great one-liners.

While Samberg is great, the scene-stealer has to be Cristin Milioti. She owns every major moment. Their chemistry allows the film to flourish, but it’s her enthusiasm that makes it go by so fast. The time-loop concept seems tired at this point. It was fresh with something like Groundhog Day, and even Edge of Tomorrow managed to execute well, but it isn’t often that we see the formula “messed with” in an entertaining way. The fact that this is both an interesting Rom-Com, and a fresh Sci-Fi film, is pretty sweet. Does it revolutionize the concept? Not necessarily, but it tells the story in such an interesting way, and it adds this extra layer to it that we really haven’t seen yet. J.K. Simmons also pops up in hilarious fashion. We spend part of the runtime trying to figure out why, and that reveal adds even more to the story.

It’s subtlety an interesting introspective on long-term relationships, and how spending all of your time with someone can change you as a person. It also focuses on the positives of a time-looped situation like this, as our characters are enjoying this opportunity. Again, it’s just a fresh film all-around. The reoccurring gags are a nice touch, and I even bought the romance between the two. That’s normally my least favorite part of a film like this, but that chemistry sells it. My main flaws come with the convenience of certain elements towards the end. They also give you something that you just have to buy as an audience. Not buying this “thing” may take you out of the film. It definitely didn’t take me out, as I accepted it immediately, but it will seem lazy to some. Palm Springs is (otherwise) a massive surprise. It may not win any Oscars, but I was certainly entertained.

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