Movie review: Hulu’s Palm Springs

Kaitlyn Bowers, Video Director

Featured image courtesy of IMDb.

Since the beginning of film itself, humans have used movies to explore fears that seem irrational.

Palm Springs is a new Hulu original film starring Andy Samberg of Brooklyn 99 as Nyles and Cristin Milioti of How I Met Your Mother as Sarah. The film tackles the concept of being stuck in a time loop that is similar to Groundhog Day. These two characters have found themselves in a seemingly endless loop of the same day, which happens to be the wedding of Sarah’s sister, played by Camilla Mendes of Riverdale. 

At first glance, the plot is trite – the concept just isn’t original. Something, however, stands out for this film: it seems like it’s actually made for people in their twenties. The sense of hopelessness and the subsequent lack of care for the situation perfectly encapsulates how most of us feel in our twenties. 

The humor is outlandish and, at times, crude. The first appearance of J.K. Simmons’ character, a man named Roy who is also stuck in the loop, sets the precedent for the absolute absurdity this film is. 

Quyen Taran, cinematographer for Palm Springs, uses angles masterfully to convey the feelings of the characters. The use of lighting to express the character’s state of minds also helps move the story forward. This also helps the story stand out on its own, rather than fall into an old pattern of most other time loop plotlines. 

The script, written by Andy Siara, is well-developed, and it follows an interesting, yet cohesive story. The relationship between the main characters is organic and believable, something that is sometimes rare in romantic comedies. Both Nyles and Sarah have an almost redeeming story arc that makes the audience relate to them. 

The downfall of this movie comes from the meta side: Andy Samberg plays the same character in this film that he’s played in almost every other. This led to the unraveling of his character at the beginning to be predictable. However, if you’re not familiar with Andy Samberg, then this will not be an issue.

As a whole, the movie was well worth the watch, especially at a time of quarantine, where every day seems to melt together in a seemingly endless time loop. The ending is wholesome and leads to a lot of questions, but in a good way. This movie not only makes you laugh, but it makes you think. I give this movie 4.5/5 Spinnaker sails. 

Palm Springs is available to stream with Hulu subscription.


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