• Oli Mora

Quickie - Palm Springs (2020)

Updated: Jul 18

Palm Springs stars Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti and was directed by Max Barbakow, telling the tale of two strangers stuck in a never-ending time loop together.

It is immediately noticeable that Palm Springs draws inspiration from many classic romantic-comedies, specifically 1993's Groundhog Day, as both films deal with very similar "stuck in time" plots.

Starting with the strengths of Palm Springs, let's discuss the acting. As always, Andy Samberg kills it in terms of comedic timing, but many viewers will be surprised to see that he also does a very adequate dramatic performance.

Milioti is the film's standout, however. The actress (who is known most popularly for her roles in both The Wolf of Wall Street and Black Mirror) delivers an extremely funny and at times very real performance, stealing many of the film's standout moments and scenes.

Next, let's talk about set, costume, and production design. Although the film's cinematography isn't particularly impressive, it is still a joy to look at due to the location where it was shot and what characters are wearing. The water shots, sandy desert scenes, and even some select indoor shots provide the audience with what becomes a truly relaxing experience. Despite all of the chaos happening on-screen, the locations in which they take place create a perfect feeling of balance for the viewers to digest it all.

Palm Springs is also hilarious. There is no doubt about it, the movie is one of the funniest of the year so far. This fact does not stop the film to get very real and dramatic in many sequences, however. This is all thanks to the dialogue coming from the screenplay.

This is, unfortunately, where the problems with Palm Springs begin to crop up.

The screenplay to Palm Springs is not the best in terms of plot. Sure, the dialogue is funny, but the places the script of the film take the plot are clichéd and full of tropes.

Truthfully, many of the film's most important scenes get very cheesy, not because of the dialogue, but simply because of the events taking place.

Palm Springs is also very badly paced. This is a problem many "time-loop" films face, as many scenes must be repeated. Better films than Palm Springs, such as Groundhog Day, remedy this issue by showing these scenes less and less as time moves on within the movie, leading to an end result in which they are only shown a couple of times.

Palm Springs finds itself constantly repeating itself, however, making it extremely boring in some moments.

Despite these hiccups, however, Palm Springs is an extremely funny film that, while we can't recommend you to spend money on, is a perfectly fine movie to put on in the background if you already have the streaming service where it is available to watch for free.


C+

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©2020 by Oli Mora and Tobi Liberman / ©2020 The CinemaScope