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‘Palm Springs’ is thoroughly entertaining

Sean I. Mills
Staff writer
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Posted 7/19/20

“Palm Springs” is the first great movie of the quarantine. Finally, a movie has come out on streaming that is just as fun, endearing, creative and enjoyable as real movies used to be in the …

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‘Palm Springs’ is thoroughly entertaining

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“Palm Springs” is the first great movie of the quarantine. Finally, a movie has come out on streaming that is just as fun, endearing, creative and enjoyable as real movies used to be in the theaters.

Maybe it’s the constant dread of the coronavirus or the steady stream of straight-to-VoD flicks that we’ve been getting for the past four months, but it feels good to legitimately enjoy a new movie. “Palm Springs” might not be the most original idea — it’s another take on the “Groundhog’s Day” time loop scenario — but the cast is great, the script is fun and there are enough twists and jokes to make it really worthwhile.

“Palm Springs” is available on Hulu. If there were any justice in the world, it would be in theaters.

On the day of her sister’s wedding in beautiful Palm Springs, the morose Sarah finds herself trapped in one of those movie time loops where she wakes up and repeats the exact same day over and over again. But she’s not alone: there’s also Nyles, who has been trapped in the same loop for so long that he can’t remember how long.

While Nyles has come to accept being stuck at this wedding every day for the rest of his life, Sarah is determined to figure a way out of the loop — or maybe she and Nyles will just keep getting drunk by the pool over and over and over again.

What really stands out about “Palm Springs” is the fun script. Everybody already knows and loves the movie “Groundhog’s Day”, but that doesn’t mean the time loop concept can’t be used in other films. And the scriptwriters clearly put a lot of thought and creativity into taking that idea and wringing out new material.

There are a lot of really neat twists, story elements and unique situations and they all help keep the movie from getting stale or bogged down with the concept. The value of having those older films to draw from is being able to come up with new ideas for the time loop story.

The cast is also more than game for wacky time loop shenanigans. Andy Samberg is a solid comedian and actor. He hasn’t found his big break in Hollywood yet, but movies like “Palm Springs” are a good way to keep trying. The ever-reliable J.K. Simmons has a fun role. And the real star is Cristin Milioti as Sarah, who brings a nice mix of manic energy and defeated hopelessness.

There just aren’t a lot of good movies coming out during these crazy times, but it seems we might still get a gem every now and then. “Palm Springs” is a cleverly written, fun film that takes a classic movie concept and finds new ways to tell its story.

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