Clever storyline and sterling performances in Palm Springs

Groundhog Day - a 1993 Bill Murray surprise box-office hit that had a cranky weatherman re-live the same day over and over again until he gets it right.

That film has basically spawned an entire sub-genre of films, about repeating days. People usually know what you mean when you say it's a Groundhog Day film. None of the later iterations of the sub-genre come close to the original (until now anyway ).

Plenty of the copycats changed genre. There was a horror version last year called Happy Death Day, and an action movie in Edge of Tomorrow (which is quite good actually ) - but it seems the perfect genre for this trope is romantic comedy. It has now produced two of, in my opinion, the best rom coms ever made. Groundhog Day and now Palm Springs.

Released last year in America to a great reaction, it had its release delayed here for months and months. It was finally recently released on Amazon Prime Video.

The film opens the morning of a destination wedding in Palm Springs. Nyles is in a loveless relationship with the sister of the bride. The wedding prep is starting, hair and make up arriving and he floats through nonplussed, cracking beers in a Hawaiian shirt.

“Yesterday, tomorrow it's all the same,” he says when asked how his day is. Something is slightly off. As he dances through the party and locks eyes and begins talking to the other sister, Sarah. Over the night they feel a connection, but the following morning, they both wake up on the morning of the wedding again.

While I understand this movie won’t be for everyone, comedies are hard to recommend. I absolutely loved it. One of the funniest films I’ve seen in years and one that is held together with a clever story and great performances. This will no doubt end up in the top half of my top ten of the year. Andy Samberg is note perfect as Nyles, but it is Cristin Milioti as Sarah who really pulls off something special here, and essentially, it is her film.

The movie, written and with production wrapped before Covid hit, asks some profound questions that we may since then have come up with our own answers to. What is life like spending the same day with the same person over and over again ad nauseam?

I think the film actually managed to come pretty close to what most of us ended up experiencing. Fun at first, gets old quite fast.

Palm Springs asks some rather heavy questions, and to the film's credit, answers them and still manages to remain incredibly fun.

 

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