Film Rating: R (Viewers Discretion Advised)
Performance Rating: Rotten Tomatoes: 94% | Metacritic: 83% | IMDb: 7.4/10
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director: Max Barbakow
Screenplay: Andy Siara
Box office: 4.39 lakhs USD
Released: July 2020
Runtime: 87 mins
Main Cast: Andy Samberg (Nyles), Cristin Miloti (Sarah), J.K. Simmons (Roy)
Nyles volunteers to step up, in the perfect cliched pretence of rescuing the damsel-in-distress, Sarah from an unexpected request to deliver the speech at her sister's wedding dinner. As intended, he succeeds in sweeping the reluctant maid of honour off her feet and they get conversing. Next thing we know Roy lands a deadly assault on Nyles; consequently leading to Sarah following the odd-duo into a weird cave. Complications arise when she wakes up in bed; the exact same day, the exact same Palm Springs Wedding Venue. Several unsuccessful attempts at breaking free of the time-loop; she acquaints herself to living a carefree life with Nyles. The plot ends with both Sarah and Nyles breaking free of the cycle and reverting back to their realities.
Nyles is the perfect example of that guy who can adapt to any situation or eventually comes to it. Being the first to awaken to the truth of the time loop, he relives the same day over and over in all its mundane glory; even when faced with the million chances of living each day different. He loves Sarah but is scared of a future that might never be possible. In spite of endless possibilities, he literally gives up on the idea of ever returning to reality or at the least living within the loop while making up with Roy.
Sarah is someone who has lost faith in herself. She is self-destructive and the guilt of having an affair with her sister's fiance corrodes her self-esteem. She does things just to spite her parents who consider her as a failure and in need of reprimanding. After she follows the weird dudes into the cave and gets stuck in the loop, she realises her faults. She accepts her reality and tries her best to relive each day a little bit better, a little bit different. She falls in love, accepts it and is not scared of the future. She tries desperately to break out of the chain of events, start over and have a normal life with Nyles.
Roy is adaptive but while reliving the same day, he realises his most prized possession is his family. So, as a way of making up for all the missed playdates, the missed holidays, the missed birthdays, he lives every day for his family; just so that if he happens to die, he could do it without regrets.
Why The Plot Sticks
The movie is a perfect blend of spices. An astounding vision of what purgatory would ensure. The dreaded infinite time loop with no escape, meant to state out our mundane lives. There are initial shock and denial at the concept of the encapsulating time frame, but adaption follows suit. The story explores each persona as the plot shifts from sci-fi, dark comedy to romance and emotional drama. Initially, both Nyles and Sarah were escaping their darkness and their pasts. As the subtle romance starts building up to something serious, they are sent guilt-tripping. They realise in order to not let go completely, humans need to hold on to something real. The lure of a life where nothing matters; a life absolved of responsibility is an enticing resolve to break.
The Reason It's A Must Watch
In short, Palm Springs is more than the cliched rom-com. The characters portray delightful comedy and drama that blend into a master millennial remake of the Harold Ramis fantasy-comedy stint Groundhog Day; starring Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, and Christopher Elliott. An absolute must-watch for Andy Samberg fans. Besides, what better reason to watch Palm Springs during this pandemic period, than to get in touch with a basal truth of life and its faucets.
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