Palm Springs is a science fiction rom-com starring Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti and J. K. Simmons. The film follows two strangers who meet at a wedding in Palm Springs, only to get stuck in a time loop. The film is exclusively available to stream in the UK on Amazon Prime Video.
I love that we’re suddenly getting an influx of time loop based films and Palm Springs may just be one of the best in recent memory! Set during a Palm Springs wedding, the film follows two strangers who inadvertently get stuck reliving the same day over and over again. Often time loop movies offer little to no explanation as to how the main characters ended up in the loop in the first place, but Palm Springs cleverly breaks the mould and this transparency with the audience makes the dynamic that more so enjoyable.
The film has a brilliant pace to it, particularly in the first half of the film. It doesn’t beat around the bush in introducing the characters and setting the scene and this swift pace gives the film great momentum. Naturally the pace does slow in the middle section of the film, but it was never too slow for me to lose interest.
Palm Springs is driven by its likeable and charming leads, with Andy Samberg playing Nyles, the boyfriend of the maid of honour, and Cristin Milioti playing Sarah, the sister of the bride at the wedding. Both characters are so charismatic and relatable that they’re hard not to love! Nyles has been stuck in the time loop for as long as he can remember and it’s entertaining watching how his character copes with reliving the same day over and over again. The relationship of the two main characters is captivating to watch grow over the course of the film and their complementing personalities provide for some of the most heart-warming and humorous moments in the film.
J. K. Simmons plays Roy, another guest at the wedding and also another person trapped within the time loop. This dynamic of having another person trapped in the time loop, in addition to the two main characters, helps to add a new dimension to the film and is something not seen too often in this genre of film. Roy is a slightly neurotic character who blames Nyles for getting him stuck inside the time loop and occasionally hunts him down to seek revenge, often killing him in spectacular fashion. I really enjoyed this dynamic as it added an exciting element of uncertainty.
As the title suggests, the film is set in Palm Springs and whilst the film doesn’t explore the area in too much depth, it serves as a perfect backdrop for reliving the same day over and over. Plus, the wedding which serves as the gateway for bringing together the two main characters is fitting for the narrative of the film. The combination of the setting, wedding and time loop concept all go together exceptionally well.
Whilst we do get a bit of explanation as to how the characters got into the time loop, the explanation for how to escape the time loop does feel a little lacklustre. There are a few brief scenes where Sarah is seen studying quantum physics and general relativity, trying to figure out a way to escape the time loop, but these scenes are pretty short and leave the audience with little explanation as to how the characters escape the time loop. Whilst I appreciate the film did delve more into the ins and outs of the time loop than other films of this genre, I would have liked the film to have delved a little deeper into the science of the time loop.
Palm Springs is a refreshing take on the time loop concept and its likeable leads make it a romcom that is easy to fall in love with.
Palm Springs is currently available to watch on Prime Video in the UK. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial of Prime Video here – https://amzn.to/336PLAW (as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases).