WARNING: MILD SPOILERS AHEAD
One of the best things a movie can do is make you feel good after you have seen it. It doesn’t have to be a happy movie to do that but just be one that you like. This was the case with Palm Springs, a film that takes the concept of an infinite time loop and turns it into something fresh and exciting. Writer Andy Siara’s script is able to find new ways to play with this concept. What we get are jokes that feel organic and a resolution that is sweet, touching and ultimately satisfactory.
For a film like to work, the chemistry between the leads has to be spot on and Palm Springs is lucky to have actors who are in sync with one another. And this film adds another dimension to what Andy Samberg can do on screen and the way his relationship with Cristin Milioti develops is a treat to watch. The very fact that the movie begins with Samberg knowing he’s in a time loop is a touch of real genius.
You can look at this at a literal level as well as unpack the metaphorical meaning behind it as well. And for the latter part, I think this is what it all boils down to. As human beings, we are creatures of comfort and when a situation makes us feel comfortable, we rarely want to escape it. This does not make Samberg’s character immature in any way but just him accepting his fate and more importantly the comfort that comes along with it.
The film gets a shot of energy from Milioti’s performance. We are used to Samberg usually being the more active one but the reserved role he takes here serves the story better. The way she enters the world of the time loop, tries to make sense of it and eventually what she does in the finale is brilliant. In a way, she could be termed as the audience as she is getting to grips with this world the same way we would be.
Director Max Barbakow doesn’t waste any time with his storytelling. He gets to the point and that gives us a crisp and entertaining experience. A special mention must be made of the cinematography by Quyen Tran who keeps things in the desert glitzy and beautiful to look at. Palm Springs is also aided by a number of smaller characters who end up scoring in a funny way. The best of the lot would hands down have to be JK Simmons. The first time we ‘see’ him, all we hear is his voice and it brings a smile to our faces. I am not going to tell you to watch Palm Springs because it will restore your faith in love. I think you should watch it, because you will see a film that is entertaining and innovative and that in itself is a triumph.
Until next time, bye.