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  • Writer's pictureEllis Barthorpe

Palm Springs ★★★★

Max Barbakow

Starring Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, J.K. Simmons, Peter Gallagher, Meredith Hagner

With a big Hollywood comedy, often comes little glimmer of a darker shade, leaving a lot to be desired. It’s often the problem with comedy blockbusters: the film is so set on giving an audience big comedy set pieces and shouting and swearing, that it forgets to perform tonally in any other area. That is certainly not the case with Palm Springs, an irreverent, fresh yet familiar comedy that is just what we need in a Groundhog Day kind of world.

Nyles (Andy Samberg), trapped in a time loop at a Palm Springs wedding, has a new found confidence in a day that keeps on repeating itself; and when Sarah (Cristin Milioti) finds herself in the same loop, the two of them find a kinship and the themes become darker but still hilarious. This works so well as the film doesn’t waste time in its' opening explaining the concept, or introducing you to the world, but instead throws you in, essentially going…”you know how a time loop movie works, so let's get into the story”.

It’s very rare that two co-stars are equally hilarious and equally suited to their characters, and that rarity has been attained here. Milioti is full of energy and fully emerges herself in every piece of comedy she can find; and with Andy Samberg to bounce off of, the chemistry comes naturally. With a much-appreciated addition of J.K. Simmons it would’ve been impressive if this didn’t go well.

Although a familiar concept (with a different time loop movie already having been released in 2021), this finds new beats that the genre hasn’t met previously. It meets those darker moments but never lets them overshadow the primary genre. As soon as things progress you feel in very capable hands; Max Barbakow knew his vision and concept, and we were there for the whole laugh-out-loud ride.

Palm Springs available now on Amazon Prime

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