2020, Movies

Palm Springs (2020, Max Barbakow)

This is a very funny romantic comedy inspired by the classic romantic comedy [redacted], and which has many similarities to the recent TV show [redacted], but which still manages a fresh spin on what is becoming a pretty tired concept.

What is that concept? Well, I don’t really want to tell you. Rather, I suggest that you watch the film without learning too much about it – specifically, the premise – and I hope you enjoy it.

SPOILERS

So, it’s Ground Hog Day by way of Russian Doll, but still a romantic comedy, set at a wedding in Palm Springs. This time the person stuck in the same day has been living it for forever before he is joined by a third person. (There are three people stuck this time.) Yes, it’s a tired idea, but this is a fresh spin on it, really. Not just because Samberg’s character is comfortable with his situation but because of the way he and Milioti’s character enjoy the experience. It’s enjoyable to see people enjoying never dying at first, in a way that the other properties don’t really do.

And there are laughs, plenty of them. I’m not a fan of romantic comedies that are short on laughs and this is definitely not. There’s some splastick and a little farce but most of the humour is based in character, as it should be.

the relationship feels earned and the characters, though shitty in their own ways, are not too shitty. This being a “relive the same day over and over movie” there is plenty of opportunity for redemption. But the redemption feels appropriate and appropriately minor.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie though I think at least some of that enjoyment came from knowing literally nothing about it. And that’s why I was so careful with the opening paragraph – I think a lot of the film’s initial positive impression comes from the surprise that, yes indeed, it’s one of those movies.

8/10

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