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‘Palm Springs’ – Review: The Perfect Summertime Rom-Com for Quarantine

This review contains minor spoilers.

Palm Springs is the perfect summertime rom-com that we so desperately needed during this stagnant quarantine.

The film follows Nyles (Andy Samberg) who is stuck living the same day over and over again until he accidentally lures Sarah (Cristin Milioti) into the same fate.  While both struggled with love and their overall purpose even before the mishap, they end up surprisingly finding answers in and with each other.  

While it was filmed before COVID-19 hit, I couldn’t help but think how similar the film is to what we’re experiencing being stuck at home in quarantine every day.

I had no idea what I was getting into when I started watching this film; I hadn’t seen a trailer and went in completely blind which made the reveal of them getting stuck living the same day on a loop even more insane.  There’s just something about sci-fi themes in otherwise completely normal movies.  It reminded me a lot of The Good Place.

Although the film is built on outlandish ideas, I quickly realized that it sought out to explore real emotions.

When the film introduces both Nyles and Sarah, it’s clear that they are struggling to accept who they are as people.

Nyles is stuck in a relationship with a narcissistic cheater and Sarah can’t seem to make her family happy and vice versa.

Both of them feign detachment to avoid facing their true feelings of inadequacy.

While there’s a lot of characters in film and television that are characterized by detachment, I was surprised at the way Palm Springs delved into why these characters are experiencing these feelings and the emotional work they have to undergo to pull themselves out of it.

While Nyles and Sarah spend a long time denying their attraction for each other, they finally hook up which changes the game for both of them.  They seem to wake up at this realization of their feelings towards one another and Sarah immediately decides to leave.  She questions Nyles and his intentions with her, afraid that his feelings aren’t genuine.

Sarah delves into finding a plan to get out of their continuous day, while Nyles searches for her everyday which makes him realize that he’s in love with her.

Finally, Sarah finds a potential answer to their problems and confronts Nyles about it which ends up in him professing his feelings for her.  Yet, when he finds out her plan to get them out of there, he cowers at the idea of leaving. 

Nyles confronts his fears when he realizes he’d rather be dead or alive with Sarah than without her.  They reunite and… I’ll let you guys see the rest for yourselves.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed the dynamics of Nyles and Sarah’s relationship, I thought that they could’ve delved a bit deeper into Sarah’s relationship with her family, which is the root of her problems.  They set everything up really well and the plot twist with her family stunned me, but I would’ve liked to see a little bit more into their past and why Sarah became the way she is.

Overall, I thought the film was a fun time that all audiences can enjoy.  It was the first new film I enjoyed in a while since quarantine started and I think it could easily be a starting point to get more audiences out to drive-in theaters and enjoying films again in this post COVID-19 world we’re living in.

[usr 4]

Palm Springs is available now on Hulu.

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