Film (2020). Limelight Productions in association with The Lonely Island, Sun Entertainment. Directed by Max Barbakow. Written by Andy Siara. Cast includes Cristin Milioti, Andy Samberg and J K Simmons. 90 minutes. Colour.
In Palm Springs, California, Sarah (Milioti) attends her sister's wedding. Her flirtation with a sardonic, Hawaiian-shirted guest named Nyles (Samberg) is disrupted when a masked assailant (Simmons) shoots Nyles with a bow. In the resulting chaos, Sarah follows the dying Nyles into a glowing cave, where she is sucked into a vortex. She awakes back on the morning of the wedding and finds Nyles relaxing in the resort pool. He apologetically explains that she has now joined him in "one of those infinite Time Loop situations you might have heard about".
Palm Springs follows the familiar beats of a Groundhog Day (1993) comedy, though with a self-awareness of its tropes. Its point of difference is Sarah and Nyles' shared experience of the loop, and their differing reactions to their fate. While Nyles practises a life of detachment that serves as a metaphor for his arrested development, Sarah teaches herself quantum Physics and explodes goats in a search for freedom. Their adventures make for a literally and metaphorically sunny film in which a good time is had by all. Eventually. [JN]