Best in Arts & Entertainment 2020: Palm Springs (Movie)


Palm Springs (Movie, Hulu)

This film was easily one of the most pleasant surprises I watched all year. In fact, I watched it twice because I enjoyed it so much. Now, there is a fair argument to be made that these movies where people are stuck in a time loop (Groundhog’s Day, Edge of Tomorrow) are becoming a bit derivative now that we are seeing them so often. Yet, I feel that it’s a genre, and like any other genre, it can be good or bad depending on how it’s done. This one is fantastic!

Andy Samberg starts here as a man who is trapped reliving a wedding for eternity. However, this wedding is not his own. It’s just a random wedding he went to with his soon to be ex-girlfriend and her friends. He got too drunk, ended up in a cave, and that cave spiraled him into a time loop. Then, he accidentally gets two other people in his time loop. One, played by J.K. Simmons, resents him, and tries to torture him all the time for revenge. The other, played by Cristin Milioti, is really the heart of the movie. Her journey from discovering she’s in the loop, to being playful, to loss, and love, is what makes this story work so damn well.

Much of this situation is played for a series of hilarious sequences, and when I write hilarious I mean that I laughed consistently through this film, but what raises it above a simple comedy is it’s ruminating on life itself. Existentialism is a huge theme here and manages to feel just deep enough to leave you pondering a bit. It doesn’t hurt that the chemistry between Samberg and Milioti is quite infectious. This is a film you won’t want to miss.

Nathan Ligon

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