Directed by: Max Barbakow
Starring “Saturday Night Live” alum Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti of “How I Met Your Mother,” “Palm Springs” is the uplifting yet bizarre romantic comedy that you should be streaming on Hulu right this second.
The plot is like nothing you have ever seen before: two wedding guests, Nyles (Samberg) and Sarah (Milioti) become stuck in a time loop, where they have to relive the same wedding day in Palm Springs over and over again. Together, the two lost souls must learn “to suffer existence” whilst also developing romantic feelings for each other.
I know this narrative may seem a bit familiar, and not “bizarre” as I mentioned, but the bizarreness seems to come from the strange thriller aspect that comes in at the rarest of times throughout the film. The plot itself feels, “Twilight Zone”-esque, but the fact that the film hits all other requirements to fit into the romantic comedy genre proves it to be a pioneering addition to a worn blockbuster category of films.
Of course, with the circumstances surrounding the world today, the film’s plot feels closer to home than ever. I found myself constantly flashing back to my personal experience in quarantine whilst watching the characters repeat their boring days over and over again throughout the film. I think that if the circumstances were different, this film would be played in indie theaters and cineplexes everywhere, due to its success at the last film festivals before the outbreak. But due to these circumstances, the film is now available for streaming on Hulu, which I think is the best decision personally, because now it will gain the exposure it needs to be enjoyed by audiences everywhere. I cannot imagine someone paying $7.99 to rent this film, maybe me, but I am a cinephile bored in this dark void. Regardless, the point is: Hulu subscribers can now watch this film for free, and after being disappointed by many terrible films after another this quarantine, this one hopefully will not disappoint. It definitely did not disappoint for me, at least!
The best part of the film aside from the quirky storyline are the two protagonists, and how well Samberg and Milioti play them. For one, their chemistry is phenomenal. I found myself rooting for their characters to be together the whole film, which I think is rare for me since I do not vibe with romantic comedies usually. Both of the actors are so humorous in every role they play anyway, that it is unsurprising that this coupling is an absolute match made in heaven. Not to mention that the ending of the film is so complex, that audiences will find that the writers leave it up to the audience to decide how they want to believe the film ended. This was epic in my opinion.
All in all, “Palm Springs” is a refreshing take on the generic indie rom-com. It is fun, eerie, and so absolutely adorable that you will be sure to fall in love with the characters and story if you sit down for two hours and give it your full attention. This was one of the best films that I have viewed in a very long time, and I think that it serves its purpose in providing a happy, fun story that audiences can relax and enjoy, leaving the harshness of the world behind. Keep in mind, however, that it is an R-rated film, and probably will only be understood and appreciated by audiences age 20-plus. If you meet this age requirement, I definitely think that this film should be next on your watchlist. I give it a 9 out of 10.