Palm Springs (2020) by Max Barbakow

‘Palm Springs’ starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti is an existential sci-fi story that has fused with a subversive romantic comedy to make a surreal baby. The film, which looks at two people stuck in a time loop while at a wedding, takes a lot of old, popular setups, tropes and premises and juggles them around. Subverting some tropes, mocking others and refreshing some. For example, to resolve the time loop, the characters try all the options presented in contemporary entertainment, only to learn that they were just that, entertainment and that the universe is not there to teach them a lesson. Discussing other tropes might spoil the fun so I shall talk about the characters instead.

Sarah and Nyles are hilarious to watch and have a great chemistry that is both wild and charming. They do not give off the made for each other vibe, but rather represent a realistic couple that grows closer as they get to know each other better. Perhaps I am a sucker for romcoms but I do enjoy a good love story arc with its ups and downs and silly flirtations. The package as a whole is filled with laughs and sees Andy breakaway from his usual brand of humor to depict something far more sincere and endearing. This is the first film I have seen with Cristin but I hope to see more of her as she brought great levity as well as seriousness to the role.

The film is shot well, a special shout out to Quyen Tran who does frame up some stunning shots but also keeps the film grounded somehow making the desert around palm springs seem attractive (I’ve never been but I don’t think deserts are attractive. It’s the sand, it gets everywhere.)

All in all this is a great film to catch on a friday night and have a laugh through.

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