Combustible Celluloid
With: Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, J. K. Simmons, Camila Mendes, Tyler Hoechlin, Meredith Hagner, Dale Dickey, Chris Pang, Peter Gallagher, June Squibb, Jacqueline Obradors, Tongayi Chirisa, Conner O'Malley
Written by: Andy Siara
Directed by: Max Barbakow
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, language throughout, drug use and some violence
Running Time: 90
Date: 07/10/2020

Palm Springs (2020)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

In the Long Rerun

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Yet another copy of Groundhog Day, the lively, funny romantic comedy Palm Springs — which premiered July 10, 2020 on Hulu — somehow manages to make the old idea feel fresh again. Written by Andy Siara and directed by Max Barbakow (both making their feature debuts), the movie is irreverent and yet sunny and carefree, with a surprising amount of heart. Nyles (Andy Samberg) and his girlfriend Misty (Meredith Hagner) are at a wedding in Palm Springs. The day starts unpromisingly, with a failed attempt at sex. At the wedding, Nyles wears a Hawaiian shirt and shorts, but stuns with a great, seemingly impromptu speech, thereby saving the bride's sister, adorable Sarah (Cristin Milioti), from drunkenly embarrassing herself. Nyles and Sarah head off to spend the evening together, but suddenly Nyles is attacked, by Roy (J.K. Simmons), firing arrows at him. Nyles crawls into a cave, but warns Sarah not to follow. The next day, it's the same day. Nyles is stuck in a time loop (and has been stuck for some time, apparently), and Sarah is now stuck with him. From there, they go through the various ins and outs of the time loop, enjoying its upsides and bemoaning its downsides, talking about the meaning of life, and attending the wedding over and over again, etc. Of course, we're waiting for them to fall in love, but when it happens, it feels just right, and for the right reasons. Samberg and Milioti are delightful together, capable of being devil-may-care crazy, but also smart and human. This is a delight that I'd be all too happy to see again.

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