- Kasturi Goswami
Palm Springs: A Refreshing Must-Watch; A Delightful Uptake On A Fuzzy Rom-Com And Much More
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 pretense 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 honor off her feet, and they get conversing. Next thing we know, Roy, a guest at the wedding who holds a grudge against Nyles, lands a deadly assault on him, leading to Sarah following the odd-duo into a weird cave. Complications arise when she wakes up in bed, on the same day, at the exact same Palm Springs Wedding Venue. After several unsuccessful attempts at breaking free of the time loop, she acquaints herself with living a carefree life with Nyles. The plot ends with Sarah and Nyles breaking free of the cycle and reverting to their realities.
Nyles is the perfect example of that guy who can adapt to any situation or eventually comes to it. He is the first to awaken to the truth of the time loop. Yet, he relives the same day over and over in all its mundane glory, even when faced with the million chances of living each day differently. He loves Sarah but is scared of a future that might never be possible. Despite endless possibilities, he 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. Sarah does things just to spite her parents, who consider her a failure and in need of reprimanding. After she follows the weird dudes into the cave and gets stuck in the loop, she realizes her faults. Thus, accepting 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 realizes his most prized possession is his family. So, as a way of making up for all the missed playdates, missed holidays, and missed birthdays, he lives every day for his family, just so that if he dies, he can 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 is meant to state 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 and dark comedy to romance and emotional drama. Initially, both Nyles and Sarah were escaping their darkness and their pasts. As the subtle romance builds up to something serious, they are sent guilt-tripping. They realize 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. They effortlessly blend into a master millennial remake of the Harold Ramis fantasy-comedy Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, and Christopher Elliott. An absolute must-watch for Andy Samberg fans. Besides, there is no better reason to watch Palm Springs now than ever. During this pandemic, get in touch with a basal truth of life and its faucets.