Palm Springs second opinion – you won’t see a better comedy all year This Groundhog saw its Shadow

4.5

Summary

Palm Springs is an absolutely winning comedy and you won’t see a better one all year.

It is so damn hard to come up with something wholly original, which explains the gluttony of reboots, remakes, relaunches, and rip-offs we are so accustomed to this century. That being said, it may be even harder to reinvent a comedy classic’s plot point in such a completely fresh way that it becomes new again. That’s exactly what Andy Samberg, Max Barbakow, and Andy Siara did here with Palm Springs it’s an absolutely winning comedy, and you won’t see a better one all year.

Samberg plays Nyles, the date of a bridesmaid at a wedding in Palm Springs. He isn’t happy with his girlfriend Misty (Horse Girls Meredith Hagner), is depressed and given up on life; the evidence being he wears a Hawaiian shirt and shorts to a wedding but manages to give a touching toast no one asked for. He meets the black sheep of the family, the maid of honor Sarah (Cristin Milioti), and she is taken by his killer dance moves and bold gestures. She falls for him in more ways than one that night, and she unwittingly finds herself stuck in a time loop reliving the same day over and over with him that Nyles has been living in for some time.

Palm Springs couldn’t have been written if it wasn’t for the Bill Murray comedy classic Groundhog Day. It reinvents the plot in a fresh way with some truly inspired comic situations, about four big gut-busting laughs, and a surprisingly deeply reflective script that owes a debt to Samberg and a fantastic J.K. Simmons (I’m calling for a sequel starring him named Irvine in 2022) that really make their scenes stand out together. Along with career-best performances from Samberg and Milioti, Palm Springs is such a breath of fresh air and using it’s a fantasy element to explore deeper truths, making it quite possibly the perfect escapist movie — one that’s even profound.

When you think about it, when was the last time you saw just a great movie? A possible instant comedy classic that you’ll watch years from now? Think about it, just like Groundhog Day, a movie people still watch regularly in 30 years? Will you be watching Palm Springs or Roma? If you are surfing the television on a lazy Sunday afternoon are you going to stop watching Groundhog Day or In the Name of the Father? Don’t get me wrong, the latter is a great film, but Barbakow’s comic fantasy is made for the masses, a true water cooler film to be enjoyed by generations, and will demand repeated viewing for years to come.


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M.N. Miller

M.N. Miller has been a film and television writer for Ready Steady Cut since August of 2018 and is patiently waiting for the next Pearl Jam album to come out.

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