Palm Springs

Critics Consensus

Strong performances, assured direction, and a refreshingly original concept make Palm Springs a romcom that's easy to fall in love with.

94%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 180

88%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,487

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Movie Info

Stuck in a time loop, two wedding guests develop a budding romance while living the same day over and over again.

Cast

Chris Pang
as Trevor
June Squibb
as Nana Schlieffen
Jena Friedman
as Daisy the Bartender
Martin Kildare
as Ted the Bartender
Calki Garcia
as DJ Nice Height
Michelle Johnston
as Noisy Neighbor
Isla Sellers
as Roy's Daughter
Matt Smith
as Out of Town Dad
Rebecca Smith
as Out of Town Mom
Jake Smith
as Out of Town Older Son
Noah Smith
as Out of Town Younger Son
Rocky Bonifield
as Wedding Guest
Erin Flannery
as Wedding Guest
Mark Kubr
as Biker #1
David Philip Reed
as Truck Driver
Sarah Schueler
as Wedding Guest
View All

News & Interviews for Palm Springs

Critic Reviews for Palm Springs

All Critics (180) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (169) | Rotten (11)

Audience Reviews for Palm Springs

  • Jul 24, 2020
    So much better than it has any right to be. Not simply an imitation of "Groundhog Day" but more of a counterpoint to it which leads to some interesting places. Good to know that my firm belief that Andy Samberg could easily be a unironic lead in a romantic comedy has been vindicated.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 20, 2020
    One particular wedding date has serious consequences for two of its guests (which is probably what weddings are for come to think of it): the sister of the bride and the maid of honor's date get a hook up that'll last for a lot longer than anyone planned. This comedy stands on a premise so familiar that it nearly becomes a artistic cliche, that of a single day lived over and over...the essential dream of every romantic. To it's credit the stars are likable as they play with the different ideas and possibilities such a convention offers, as well as the rom-com inevitability: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl again.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 16, 2020
    I am a sucker for a clever time travel tale, or parallel universes, a sci-fi story where the creative ingenuity is front and center, and Palm Springs is a delightful new rom-com bursting with imagination. By this rate, most audiences should be familiar with the time loop formula, from comedy classic Groundhog Day to Source Code to Edge of Tomorrow to Netflix's audacious series, Russian Doll. It's a creative conceit that rests on building patterns and subverting expectations, allowing a writer an unparalleled opportunity to retell a story, pulling at the edges and getting to answer an assembly of "But what if?" questions. It builds out its world and makes it feel richer and more intricate, all the little stories and characters that might have been missed had there only been a single avenue. It requires a creative storyteller with a big imagination for details, but when done correctly, the time loop movie can be a wealth of satisfying payoffs and intriguing detours. Palm Springs deserves to be added to that list of hallowed time loop movies. It's the day of the wedding for Sarah's (Cristin Milioti) sister. There's one wedding guest that seems to stand out. Nyles (Andy Samberg) seems prescient on the dance floor, has a prepared speech that earns tears, and strolls through the reception like he owns it. Sarah becomes smitten with him, against her better judgment, follows him into a mysterious glowing cave. She wakes up in her bed and relives the wedding day again, learning she too is now trapped in that 24-hour loop with Nyles. He laments that she followed him, having once encouraged another person to join him in the world of no tomorrows (a rueful Roy, played by J.K. Simmons). But with a partner, the many days have a new relevance, and Nyles and Sarah depend on each other, but is there a chance that they can escape or are they doomed to perform the Electric Slide forever? Right away, you can tell that writer Andy Siara (TV's Lodge 49) has given his story tremendous thought, and the fun of it is watching our main characters go through the process of discovery while learning more about each. The rules of the universe are straightforward; whether death or sleep, they will wake up back that fateful wedding morning. Nyles has felt trapped for so long and the prospect of another companion going through his same purgatory fill him with guilt, but he cannot help feeling a new purpose when he finds a partner for this weird world. Initially she's looking for an escape, but then she opens up to the possibility to a life permanently on pause, without consequences, and how freeing this can be. Then the appeal dampens as we come to understand why this day is personally painful one for Sarah and why she would be desperate to live another day, any other day. When she drops out for a solid stretch in the second half, you miss her just as much as Nyles and better realize what a great team they made. Palm Springs has plenty of fun with the possibilities (Nyles requests a quick death over a long drive to "beat the traffic") but it doesn't lose sight over why we should care about these people. It doesn't really matter how thee time loop began or whatever theory will end the loop. It's the central relationship that will ultimately provide the emotional anchor, and it's because of that attention that by the conclusion of Palm Springs I felt uplifted, buoyant, and happy (a mid-credits scene thankfully answers the one lose thread, providing an even more welcomed conclusion). Make no mistake, this is a funny movie and I laughed often. Samberg (TV's Brooklyn 99) and Milioti (Black Mirror) are terrific together and genuinely seem to enjoy one another. They have a combustible spark to them that reminded me of older screwball comedies. Having a willing partner allows Nyles to cater to different impulses but also pushes him to re-examine his perspective when he has someone new who sees excitement in their unique position. However, except for Roy and his long drive from Irvine, they are hopelessly alone, unable to move forward, and the question arises can there be anything of significance without consequences? The screenplay has a natural dark streak with its humor, so even when things get heavy with existential quandaries, it doesn't stop the movie from being smart and enjoyable. There are so many wonderful little payoffs, little running gags, and larger payoffs to be had with the time loop formula. It also hooks an audience by watching a character fail, and fail, and fail, only to succeed. Palm Springs is a romantic comedy that can be funny, romantic, and make me care. Debut director Max Barbakow keeps the pacing swift and has fun playing with bold primary colors across the desert setting. The tone of the movie is delicate as it can go into silly revelry, like a surprise coordinated dance routine and a wedding crash involving a bomb, into yearning romance, into heartfelt pathos, and then even the occasional stomach punch. For as rightfully beloved Groundhog Day is, there's nothing that comes close to feeling like an emotional gut punch. With Palm Springs, the time loop is given its sci-fi examination, the comedy is given is full exploration, but it's the characters that matter most, and Barbakow prioritizes the right feelings at the right times. By the end, you feel sweetly fulfilled by these 90 charming minutes. At first, I wondered why the Roy character was included except as a cautionary tale why Nyles would not want to rope someone else into his purgatory. But then as we visited with the older man, I realized, as he does, that he's meant to symbolize the change in perspective (mild spoilers to follow). The family that he couldn't stand before his loop-life has now become his personal oasis. He's grown in appreciation and love of his family bonds. He is the example for Nyles about how one can personally grow and change when given dedication and enough time to see it through. It's a nice moment, and while Simmons (Whiplash) is always wildly entertaining when he's bulldozing over others, giving Roy a poignant sendoff made me feel like he was a much more integral character and his earned wisdom was its own special reward. Palm Springs is a great detox of movie, with enough sunny comedy and winning romance to make you smile and enough tortured existential drama to provide substance. Everyone involved, from the writer to the director to the cast, is having a blast and it's fun to join in the good times. When it comes to time loop cinema, Palm Springs is a respite of entertainment and smartly developed and richly realized execution. Find it on Hulu and kick back. Nate's Grade: A-
    Nate Z Super Reviewer
  • Jul 11, 2020
    Films that revolve around characters repeating the same day over and over again has grown very tired in my mind. Groundhog Day perfected it and it really wasn't until more recently with Edge of Tomorrow that I really found a film that seemed to stand out among the rest. Well, I'm glad that I can now add Palm Springs to the list of films to put a clever spin on this concept. This film was originally supposed to play at more film festivals around the world and eventually receive a theatrical release, but things being the way they are, Hulu has now released it. Although this may be a film that's hard to find for some right now, here's why Palm Springs is one of the very best movies to come out of this bare year of 2020 so far.  Nyles (Andy Samberg) and Sarah (Cristin Milioti) find themselves sort of bonding over the fact that they both really don't want to be at the wedding they're at. He's the date of someone who cheats on him and she is the sister of the bride, who clearly has many issues. Stumbling across a strange cave after the wedding, they both find themselves caught in a time loop that has them reliving the same day over and over again. Certain things are revealed about each of these characters that add a lot more depth to the story and I found myself incredibly engaged from beginning to end.  Where this film shines the most is in the fact that it completely commits to the whole time loop concept, even giving a few winks at the audience. It never once makes any huge mistakes logically, which felt refreshing, especially in the ways it would subvert expectations and most importantly in the way that they choose to conclude the story. The way Palm Springs wraps up was a very entertaining and emotionally earned finale. Now, I feel like I say this about a lot of movies that focus so much of their time on very few characters, but I truly mean that if Samberg and Milioti didn't have any fun chemistry together, this film would've been a disaster. This is probably the most laid back and comfortable I've ever seen Andy Samberg be in a film and it made the entire experience that much better. Only having written and directed a few short films and a documentary before tackling Palm Springs, director Max Barbakow has honestly blown me away here. With a small budget, a small number of characters, and a small scope, this film felt much bigger than it was. I can honestly see a big future for him in the coming years. I will gladly seek out his next project. On top of his stellar work on this film, writer Andy Siara (who also doesn't have a huge filmography as of yet) added a very funny and clever tone to the whole concept. It was clear that the performers were very comfortable with the dialogue because their acting lept off the screen and that just seemed to be a nice mixture of everything coming together nicely behind the scenes. In the end, Palm Springs is a film that I was very much looking forward to, but was wary of due to the concept itself. Thankfully, this is one of the best movies that I've seen accomplish this concept in years. I'm not calling it a masterpiece by any means, but for a fun time loop movie, I really couldn't find many issues. At a mere 90 minutes, this movie flies by and has just enough clever surprises for those who may not have been completely engaged. While the idea itself has grown tired for me, this movie is undeniably hard to dislike. Everything about this movie put a huge smile on my face and if that isn't what the world needs right now, I don't know what is.
    KJ P Super Reviewer

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