July 22, 2024

PALM SPRINGS (2020) – Groundhog wedding day

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Rating: ⭐⭐ 1/2

First off the film’s title Palm Springs is a little bit misleading in that there is absolutely no mention or relation to Palm Springs in the entire film. The only remote explanation for the title is that Palm Springs is a popular wedding destination and the story does have a wedding setting even though it’s not in Palm Springs.

Of late there has been a steady supply of movies with a Groundhog Day concept of characters living the same day over and over agsin. This has made the idea no longer fresh or original. How many times have we watched a movie where a character get bewildered by having to live his or her day over and over again. In Palm Springs, the main character Nyles, played by Andy Samberg (of early Saturday Night Live days), began to experience this after a freak earthquake in the desert (yeah .. right). He is stuck living the same day over and over again, which happens to be the wedding day of a friend of his girlfriend. He meets the bride’s sister Sarah, played by relative unknown, Cristin Milioti and begin having an an affair of sorts with her. So what we have is basically a two persons play set in a recurring wedding day. How the relationship develops and play out over the repeating day provides the basis of some amusing antics.

Director Max Barbakow and screenwriter Andy Siara, manage to keep the viewer interested despite the familiar gimmicky set-up, thanks to some surprises and the fun and good natured performances of their main stars. The film’s story also follows the standard boy meets girl, boy loses girl and boy gets girl back, romantic comedy routine. Wondering how it will all end helps keep the interest alive. For me, it was a good break away from the dread and horror of the last few films I had been watching. Nothing great but fun.

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