Summary: It’s Groundhog Day, but with two people!
Despite not seeing that other movie starring that other Saturday Night Live alumni*, the premise here is easy- two acquaintances are stuck living the day of a wedding over and over and over again until they find a way to get out. It’s cute. It’s very charming. It’s even a little unpredictable at times. I didn’t expect to like Palm Springs that much- I like Andy Samberg’s work on Saturday Night Live, but I’m otherwise not a huge Samberg fan and I tend to fall asleep during his movies. Lead Cristin Milioti serves as a good partner to keep him in check, so I found this a little more tolerable. I’m not usually one for romantic comedies (The Lovebirds was so hard to get through), but this one had a genuinely quirky relationship that seemed to unfold in a reasonable manner, given the plot.
Also, I found this movie and the characters highly relatable, meaning that I’d probably do most, if not all the things Milioti does when she discovers she can pretty much do whatever she wants (throw parties, flashmobs, use the wedding as her own playground) and not have any repercussions for her actions.
Due to the many platforms that audiences have to point out plotholes or inconsistencies, a lot of movies nowadays feel the need to explain everything; Palm Springs unfortunately falls into this, using Samberg as the Exposition Guy who’s been stuck for a while vs. Milioti, who’s new to the cycle and asks all the questions we would have taken to Twitter. It changes the focus of the story and makes the ending feel more like a copout- instead of the characters growing and maturing based on their reflection on their previous actions, it becomes more about the science of breaking out of the time loop. It comes across as a “well, time to wrap this up,” rather than giving the story a more heartfelt conclusion. Other than that, I have few complaints about this one. Consider me entertained.
*Confession: I’ve never seen Groundhog Day, the movie or the musical. But I’m a big fan of the musical’s recording and I highly encourage you to check it out if you’re into that kind of thing. One Day is one of the best pre-intermission songs that exists and Seeing You makes me tear up like none other. Tim Minchin plug done!