Somewhere between 1993 and 2020, Groundhog Day went from being a beloved Bill Murray movie to a fully fledged genre. Case in point - “Groundhog Day, but it’s a slasher movie” (Timecrimes); “Groundhog Day, but it’s a mystery on a boat” (Triangle); “Groundhog Day, but there’s a bomb on a train” (Source Code); “Groundhog Day, but with aliens” (Edge of Tomorrow); “Groundhog Day, but it’s a different slasher movie” (Happy Death Day).
Enter Palm Springs. This one is Groundhog Day, but there are two characters (Nyles and Sarah) experiencing the time-loop at the same time. It’s one of those ideas so perfect that it makes you wonder how it took over a century of filmmaking to get round to it.
Much like Groundhog Day, the film is a romantic comedy, but the two-person dynamic turns it into something completely unique. For example, at one point, Nyles disposes of a bomb he’s hidden inside the cake at a wedding, just to entertain Sarah. It’s a perfect example of the delightful time-travel shenanigans the pair get up to, throughout, but the film still manages to throw a few surprises at you to keep things from being too predictable as they inevitably develop feelings for one another.
Playing these roles are Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti: two incredibly charming actors who share a great chemistry. As if they weren’t enough, though, rounding out the cast is J.K. Simmons who is never anything to watch but an absolute joy.
An uplifting and optimistic piece of escapism that looks to the future after realising we can’t just dwell in the present forever, Palm Springs is arguably the perfect film to watch in 2020.