MOVIE REVIEW: PALM SPRINGS is the hilarious comedic take on the ennui of a repetitive existence that we deserve right now.


The Lonely Island’s Andy Samberg and How I Met Your Mother’s Cristin Milioti star in this hilarious and timely comedy that’s one part GroundHog Day Meets 50 First Dates premiering on Hulu July 10th.

I’m a fan of The Lonely Island, the comedy collective consisting of Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaeffer, and Andy Samberg. From their time on the Southern California based comedy network Channel 101 with their parody of The OC with ninjas called The ‘Bu, to their groundbreaking digital shorts on SNL, to their films Hot Rod and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. The trio has a great talent for spying fertile material for parody with Samberg as the charismatic lead of most of their projects. With Palm Springs, the trio stepped in to produce this fun and unique romantic comedy starring Samberg, written by Andy Siara and directed by Max Barbakow. Samberg plays Nyles, a nihilistic, yet happy-go-lucky reveler at the wedding of Tala (Camila Mendes) and Abe (The CW’s Superman Tyler Hoechlin) with his girlfriend Mindy (Meredith Hagner). Despite being a slacker in a dingy Hawaiian shirt, he charms everyone at the reception with a heartfelt toast and approaches Sarah (Cristin Milioti), the stressed-out and angry maid of honor. He sweeps her off her feet with his nonchalant charm and a kind of cosmic kismet that has them connecting on an innate level of knowing. As they almost hook up, Nyles is shot by an arrow by a hunter in the distance named Roy. Sarah freaks out while Roy and Nyles make their way to a glowing cave. Nyles tells her to stay away, but she follows him into the light, Unfortunately, as it turns out, this cave is the entrance to an infinite time loop. Nyles has been living in the same day, November 9th, for centuries; he can’t die or the loop resets and if he goes to sleep, the loop resets. Sarah is determined to find a way out as Nyles teaches her the ropes, but along the way, their mutual hijinks lead to their building an attraction. The question arises, can they build a life in a world where they live the same life, with the same previous choices every day.

Siara’s script is clever and hilarious. It takes a plot element from the beloved comedy Groundhog Day and spins a unique, hilarious, and kind of endearing film from it, much the same way Happy Death Day did a few years ago. Milioti has some experience with a story about being trapped in a world without her consent, as she appeared on a Black Mirror episode with a similar concept a few years ago. But this is a different animal and her Sarah feels like a realized person with real problems and faults that her predicament just serves to remind her of. Samberg has matured beyond his days headlining SNL skits and sitcoms and his Nyles feels realized and stuck dealing with the unique ennui his situation creates. In a way, it’s timely this hit now, as Coronavirus has trapped many in a repetitive loop of work and home and we can empathize with both Nyles and Sarah. The film also has flavors of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in its DNA. That combination coupled with the film’s hilarious beats throughout really make this a fun view with laugh out loud moments.

PALM SPRINGS is a fun and uniquely original comedy that keeps you guessing throughout. With shades of great comedies like Groundhog Day, 50 First Dates, and a bit of Eternal Sunshine, it has a serious core that makes you care for these characters despite their zany situation. PALM SPRINGS has a great heart at its center and great characters with enough laughs to keep you satisfied. Definitely a must-watch.