A romantic comedy starring Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti & J.K Simmons. What better movie to watch when you’re stuck on lockdown than a groundhog day-like movie featuring a guy who believes that life and consequence are meaningless and a girl who thinks love isn’t real. Cheerful stuff indeed………let’s get into it!
Live Die Repeat
The groundhog day premise (same day repeats itself) has been used plenty of times before. At it’s worst, it’s a rip off and at it’s best, it’s paying homage to a premise that allows for a sandbox of creativity. Palm Springs falls somewhere in between for me on this front. The day in question is a wedding set at a Palms Springs resort out in the middle of nowhere. Andy plays Nyles who has been living this day loop over and over already prior to the film starting. We tail along with Sarah who knows as little as we do when the film start. A novel idea which made for some quite funny moments until all was revealed.
I can’t shake the notion that this film feels more like a decent episode of black mirror than a feature film. Starring Black Mirror alumni Cristin in a co-lead role probably doesn’t help but she is definitely a perfect fit for this part. This is a genre bending movie to say the least. At it’s heart it’s a romantic comedy but it delves into dark territory and dabbles in smart sci-fi logic to boot. This is the kind of writing we’re used to seeing from Charlie Brooker on the small screen.
I really enjoyed this movie. The dark comedy, sarcastic dialogue and modern approach to romance were all presented in a slick and fast paced quirky flick. Even at it’s darkest, it still has a real positive overtone and never really steers too far off the path of just being an entertaining enjoyable watch. The performances are great, relying heavily on the chemistry between Andy & Cristin. Their on screen rapport thankfully works and helps propel the movie.
I can’t continue giving a glowing review for this movie without addressing the elephant in the room. I really dislike this guy, always have. His performance and mannerisms just rub me the wrong way in every thing he does. Not nice to say but he has one of those faces I just want to smack! His performance here is fine but I don’t believe he is an actor with any kind of range. This is basically Jake Peralta in a Hawaiian shirt. I guess if you like him, that’s not a problem and he definitely does have his funny moments. My gripe is my own, if you don’t find him annoying, you’ll have no problem with this movie.
Missing a Trick
One major gripe I have with the movie is how woefully underused J.K Simmons is. The actor is amazing and the character created for him here had plenty of room for some hilarious fun. We get one condensed sizzle reel of his character hunting/torturing Andy but it would have added a huge boost to the movie to have lighter scenes of J.K dropping in at the wrong moments to ruin Nyles’ day. It could have given the movie some extra comedy that would have benefited it overall.
This feels like a small movie to be enjoyed and probably forgotten about which is a shame. It has some depth you might miss on a first viewing. Smart, funny and entertaining are a combo of words not often pulled off by a movie but here it’s a good fit. Put simply…..you will enjoy this movie. You may want to punch Andy in the face just like me but you’ll still have a good time
Minor spoiler : Make sure you watch the post credit scene or else you’ll be incredibly worried about one character’s outcome (yes, I skipped it and ended up googling it)