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  • Writer's pictureStrictly Films

Palm Springs; A Knockoff of Groundhogs Day that Doesn’t Entirely Feel like a Knockoff. Grade: B

Palm Springs takes place around a wedding, centered around a wedding guest named Nyles (Andy Samberg). Nyles has a girlfriend and enjoys drinking a lot. As Nyles hooks up with the bride's sister Sarah (Cristin Milioti), we discover a magical cave. As Nyles warns Sarah not to go inside the cave, she does anyway as she'll soon find out that the cave, makes her reoccur the events of the wedding over and over again... Kind of like Groundhogs Day. Witness a new rendition of that comedic classic, in a purely romantic comedy fashion.

The Cinematography was solid, this was a nice looking film. Can I just say that I adore the opening title sequence?! Feels like I'm watching an old school film from the way early days, t'was very cool. The Score was solid as well, enjoyed majority of the music in this film. The cast all in all was solid as a whole. Andy Samberg playing Nyles had a nice performance, acting range is basically the same in everything he does, so this was nothing particularly new to the table. I felt the character Nyles was a well developed character, as he's going through the motions of this meaningless world, as he soon finds out what gives life meaning when Sarah drops into the picture. Sarah played by Cristin Milioti had a nice performance as well, she compliments the bizarre nature of Sambergs performance, making the chemistry between the two done fairly well. Compared to Nyles, Sarah is more of a doer, as Nyles sits in hopeless that he'll never get out of this world. In a way Sarah teaches Nyles that the only way to progress in life, is actually putting in action, rather than mope around and feel like nothing is ever going to change. Change doesn’t fall nicely in your lap, change happens when you put in the work to create change. She provides the spark in which Nyles needed, to make an attempt to escape this world. J.K. Simmons plays a character whom is also trapped in this reoccurring world, as it was a nice playful performance.

I do have flaws with Palm Springs. One being the concept not being totally original, as of course I kept thinking of Groundhogs Day. I felt the comedy material could've used more work, as I found it just mediocre for my taste. One thing that didn't make much sense is why did Nyles and Sarah keep revisiting this bar?! This bar is bottom of the barrel when it comes to providing resourceful entertainment value. During this time being in a reoccurring time loop, why not explore different cities?! It beats the idea of partaking in this bar anyways and it's not like they don't have a source of transportation. Some areas in the last act felt a bit confusing, on how the plan is going to execute to success.

While partaking in Palm Springs, I was becoming less impressed with the film, as it just reminds me of another knock off of Groundhogs Day. But as time went on... I come to actually enjoy Palm Springs. It's not like When We First Met and the dreadful Wayan Brother film Naked, where it's just another knock off, providing nothing new to the table. With Palm Springs... It actually provides a unique look, as it actually wanted to become something particularly different this time around. For starters I enjoyed the fact there was more involved in this reoccurring time loop world, than just Nyles going through the motions, as it tries to find the moral lesson for himself. With Sarah she provides Nyles many lessons, including life is meaningful by the idea of love, while also life only stops when you choose to do so, as you could find a way out of any situation by putting in the work. The romantic aspect makes this film somewhat charming in a way, it's cute and it actually makes a significant impact in making this story work. Sure the story at hand feels reminiscing to Groundhogs Day, however the writer pulls it off by adding new tricks to the table. When it comes to the science fiction aspect of the film, it thankfully doesn't feel goofy or dweebish like those on social media want it to be. In a way it was kind of cool, of course there is an issue with it as a whole, but I rather it have a plot hole than it entirely changing the genre of this entire film. It plays a significant part in the story, but doesn't sabotage the romantic comedy vibe of what this film was going for, as I can respect that. I'm happy that the concerns and worries I had while partaking in this film went away during the course of the time, as this was an enjoyable watch indeed.

Overall, Palm Springs is a good film. I recommend checking this one out, as it can be found on HULU. Want to point out the fact I saw a critic called this a film that is "Timely" in today's world, as I come to ask how is this timely?! But then I realize... Yes we have been occurring in an never ending nightmare regarding Covid-19 and this year in general, so well played. -Mitch Smietana

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