If you happen to watch this film because you’re a fan of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and How I Met Your Mother, then you will find yourself with no regrets. Although the story is different from the old gags and tragic finale you’ve used to, Palm Springs is one of those “time” stories that gives love stories a different take.
Directed by Max Barbakow, the film is about Nyles (Andrew Sandberg), who is stuck in a time loop on November 9 – the day of his girlfriend’s best friend’s wedding. On one of his repeating days, he encounters Sarah (Cristin Milioti), the bride’s sister. When the two get together and have a great time, they’re interrupted by Roy (J.K Simmons), another person trapped in the loop because of Nyles. Sarah follows Nyles into a mysterious cave where she gets stuck in the time loop as well. The pair use all of their time to hang around, have some fun, and do crazy things. They also get the chance to know each other. As the days keep repeating, things become complicated between the two when they started to fall for each other. Will they be able to keep what they have with each other if the day keeps repeating?
This film’s great thing is that it uses the familiar and intriguing time loop concept and puts a rom-com twist into it. It keeps the audience stuck in the film and has questions lingering about the mysteries. Also, the rom-com spin makes the story captivating. The audience is familiar with only one person stuck in a time loop, mostly due to some experiments or an agency developing a weapon. Palm Springs show that two persons can do this and fall in love at the same time. With this familiarity, the characters’ charm and excellent performance keep the narrative hard to anticipate, which gives the story a fresh take.
Andrew Sandberg and Cristin Milioti shine in their role as Nyles and Sarah. The charm and tandem of the two give life to the story. Sandberg’s wittiness is perfect for his carefree character – Nyles, who spent almost forever in the time loop. Paired with Milioti’s – Sarah, who she thinks did not live to her family’s expectations. Both are unlucky in love but found each other. Milioti’s performance is one of those what if’s in the How I Met Your Mother series. Cristin Milioti is the mother, the titular character teased to be Ted’s wife, Tracy McConnel. Unfortunately, her character didn’t receive much time and eventually killed her off in the finale. Despite these, Milioti still pulled off the character with her brilliant performance. Tracy quickly becomes one of the fan-favorite characters – given that she only appeared in one season. Her performance in Palm Springs shows her comedic and dramatic talent, and this supports the divided take on the How I Met Your Mother’s finale.
To conclude, Palm Springs offer a fresh-yet take on a rom-com experience. It is not a big wow in love stories, but it will stick in your head and heart after watching it.
Palm Springs is available on stream on Hulu
4 out of 5 stars