Palm Springs (Hulu Original Movie)
Director: Max Barbakow
Starring: Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti
Please be aware this article contains Palm Spring spoilers!
Andy Samberg, how I love thee
How I love Andy Samberg? Let me count the ways…and without spoiling the movie for you either!
I sat down to Palm Springs, the character-driven, science in the background movie, with few expectations. It seemed to check most of my boxes and even though I’m not huge on romance, I figured I’d give it a whirl. I’m so glad I did. On the thin surface, Palm Springs is a funny, lighthearted view of what the meaning of life is. However when you step back from the quick quips from Samberg and the dry, and hilarious delivery of lines by Milioti. You find the depth and inquisitive ideologies that this movie so smartly centres around. Palm Springs asks the questions that scholars still pour over like is life meaningless, what gives life meaning, and what does it mean to be happy?
Totally hooked in to Palm Springs
The intro to JK Simmons character of Roy was where I was hooked. The idea that people can get stuck in a time loop in and of itself is a sci-fi well-tread trope. But taking that even further to stipulate that it exists outside of someone’s sense of being and, that separate people are trapped within in it, was an exciting twist that kept me watching.
An interesting twist on time-loop movies
The answers I got from Palm Springs were few and far between. They did a nice job hitting my sugar dependence for a saccharine filled narrative, but without being diabetic coma-inducing. Playing on the established understanding of time loop movies and stories was an expertly executed way of establishing how this universe operates. All without boring me by going through it yet again.
The supporting cast of familiar, but not jaw droppingly huge cameos was a nice inclusion. Allison Jones is one of my favourite casting directors, so it doesn’t surprise me that I was happy with the whole dang cast.
A disappointing ending
My one regret after watching the movie was that it fed me the ending. After watching a surprising heady movie, I was hopeful that I as the audience would be able to guess what happens to Nyles and Sarah after the bomb goes off. As the movie proposes that we all are not only in charge of our own happiness, but that it is something different for each and every one of us. I think it would have been more in keeping with the theme of the movie to allow the viewer to draw their own conclusions.
However, it made me want to go back and watch it again, to find all those little easter eggs and nods to what’s happening, before you are allowed as the audience, to find out. It also made me want to rewatch a movie from 2013 called Coherence. If you like Palm Springs, you will be totally into that movie.
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