Vol. 13, No. 22 – July 29 – Aug 11, 2020 – Movie Review

Streaming Spotlight by Cindy Summers

Palm Springs
Hulu Originals

4 out of 4 palm trees

Putting a new spin on the well-known concept of the movie Groundhog Day, Palm Springs finds carefree Nyles reliving a crazy wedding day over and over again and manages to also suck in the sister of the bride Sarah, who both find themselves unable to escape waking up to the same day no matter what they do.

Nyles (Adam Sanberg) woke up in a Palm Springs motel to attend the wedding of his girlfriend Misty’s best friend Tala. After the wedding, Nyles crashed the reception with a moving, yet at times questionable toast wearing casual beach wear with disheveled hair. Nyles was mimicking and mocking reception guests with a strange synchronicity to catch the attention of the maid of honor Sarah (Cristin Milioti), whom he rescued with his unusual toast.

Nyles asked Sarah to leave the party, so they headed out to the desert where Nyles got shot with an arrow in the back by a camo-wearing bow hunter with a nightlight who seemed to be hunting Nyles and who Nyles called “Roy” (J.K. Simmons). Nyles fled and was hit with a second arrow in the leg by Roy, who then disappeared into a cave.

Nyles crawled his way into the same cave, and Sarah came in behind him. He shouted out “don’t come in here” to warn her as he disappeared into the light and woke up to the same day. Sarah didn’t listen and found herself also waking up to the same day. She chased down Nyles demanding an explanation, as apparently he had been through this before.

Nyles explained “This is today, today is yesterday, and tomorrow is also today. It’s one of those infinite time loop situations you might have heard about.” Sarah didn’t want to believe it so she went out to the desert to look for answers against Nyles’ advice and her day got reset again.

Despite their individual repeated attempts to change things, Nyles and Sarah always reset to the morning of the wedding, so decided to just embrace the belief that nothing matters and experience anything and everything without fear. They became fast friends in fun, until Sarah discovered Nyles had lied to her about never hooking up with her before she went in the cave.

The next day, Sarah didn’t wake up Nyles as usual and wasn’t seen by him for months, even though they both were waking up to the same day. Unknown to Nyles, while he was wasting time just wasting time, Sarah was studying Quantum Physics to get out of the day.

Unfortunately, Sarah’s solution involved blowing themselves up at a specific time in the cave. Nyles was too afraid, but realized he’d rather die in an explosion with Sarah than live in the loop without her, so went and found her in the cave in the desert. Sarah’s plan worked and they found themselves being kicked out of their refuge pool by the vacationing family that finally returned.

Palm Spring is filled with clever, witty dialog and sharp comedic timing. It also shows the same day from both Nyles’ and Sarah’s perspectives (similar to Gus Van Sant’s movie Elephant), and viewers who enjoy this movie would appreciate the beginning so much more by re-watching at least the first 15 minutes.

Rated: R
87 minutes

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