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  • Writer's pictureTess

Palm Springs

Live like there's no tomorrow.

Streaming on Hulu | 2020 | R | 1hr 30min


Genre: Quarantine romcom with a summery twist Why We Watched: Someone whose movie opinions I love and trust texted me that Palm Springs was "like Groundhog Day from the woman's point of view." This description undersells how fun of a movie it is, but I didn't need anything else to pull up Hulu while I sat next to the A/C.

You Might Also Like: Your first stop after watching Palm Springs should be the soundtrack. Where else can you find Kate Bush and Hall & Oates on the same playlist? But if the movie's summer vibes have you wishing you could splash in the pool or hit the road for a vacation, take a look at last year's roundup of our favorite summer flicks.

Palm Springs characters dancing.
Dancing the night away ... and the next million after that.

Every day has started to look the same. Workweek Zoom meetings and virtual happy hours bleed together. Living rooms now double as makeshift movie theaters, therapist's offices, and gardens. We're not actually stuck in a time loop, but the pandemic feels pretty dang close. Palm Springs feels familiar against the backdrop of our new day-to-day. While stuck at the wedding from hell, "pretentious sadboy," Nyles (Andy Samberg) meets Sarah (Cristin Milioti), sister of the bride. He rescues her from giving one of those drunken maid of honor toasts and the pair hit it off. They slip away from the reception for a quick hook up and ... Sarah gets drawn into the infinite time loop that Nyles has been stuck in for the past few decades. The movie then repeats that same day over and over again, becoming a meditation on "feeling like you can't really escape yourself or the people that you're with," as Samberg told NPR. And its spin on the time loop genre, familiar from movies and TV shows like Groundhog Day, Happy Death Day, and Russian Doll, has proven successful. After its debut at Sundance Film Festival in January, the movie broke the record for the biggest sale in the history of the festival — by $0.69. If nothing else, the $0.69 is a signal of the film's approach to humor. Part weird, part raunchy, part nihilist, the movie often teeters on the absurd. Front teeth falling out hours before the wedding starts? It's there. Getting shot with a medieval-style crossbow? You'll see it. Dinosaurs roaming the desert? Got 'em. But what grounds the movie — and what I'd say is my favorite part — is the chemistry between Samberg and Milioti. The pair play off each other without missing a beat and successfully make the pivot between quirky choreographed dancing in a bar to deeper conversations about past lives and future hopes. Ultimately, they make a believable case that love can be messy and imperfect, but still be exactly what you need. Although Palm Springs was made in a pre-pandemic world, its understanding of what makes us human and what gives life meaning feels more relevant now than ever. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did. Happy streaming! Tess

It's the best.


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