Advertisement
Film

Palm Springs: Andy Samberg does Groundhog Day in the sunshine

Palm Springs is stuffed full of enough slapstick gags and ribald humour to distract us all from feelings of anxiety-inducing stasis, says Graeme Virtue

Almost three decades after its original release, Groundhog Day has transcended being just a beloved movie. Bill Murray’s perpetual Punxsutawney vacation has practically become a genre, with its central time-loop concept thriftily recycled for everything from sci-fi thrillers (Source Code, Edge Of Tomorrow) to slasher horror (the Happy Death Day franchise).

What is much rarer is a Groundhog Day-inspired film that tries to be an actual rom-com, perhaps because that would be taking the long-standing champ head on. So Palm Springs feels like a big swing: a scruffy, often raunchy movie about finding a soulmate in the strangest of circumstances (in this case, a fancy destination wedding in the titular resort town).

Andy Samberg from zippy cop sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine stars as Nyles, a seemingly immature slacker rarely seen without a beer in his hand. In truth, there are probably worse time-loops to be trapped in – this one has free food and booze, blazing sunshine plus a pool – and if Nyles can sometimes be wilfully obnoxious or unexpectedly philosophical it fits the setting: who hasn’t let off some steam at a wedding reception?

Refreshingly, Palm Springs also assumes the viewer is familiar with Groundhog Day so very little time is spent on the set-up. Instead we get to experience the shock of the weirdness of living the same day over again via Sarah (Cristin Milioti), the hedonistic and slightly resentful sister of the bride who finds herself dragged into Nyles’s predicament.

Seeing how Sarah processes her new circumstances is part of the fun, and Samberg and Milioti have exuberant, “why the hell not?” energy to burn. It also levels the playing field: rather than Bill Murray having an unfair advantage when charming the oblivious Andie MacDowell, you have two leads with all the time in the world to reflect on what they actually want from life and love. If that makes it sound a little worthy, Palm Springs is also stuffed full of enough slapstick gags and ribald humour to distract us all from feelings of anxiety-inducing stasis.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Support your local vendor

Want to buy a copy of the magazine? We have over 1,200 Big Issue vendors in the UK. Each vendor buys a copy of the mag for £1.50 and sells it for £3, keeping the difference. Visit our interactive map to find your nearest vendor and support them today!

Recommended for you

Read All
Elvis review: The paradox of American myth-making
Film

Elvis review: The paradox of American myth-making

Top songs: a guide to Tom Cruise singing cheesy tunes in movies
Film

Top songs: a guide to Tom Cruise singing cheesy tunes in movies

The Lost Girls: 'This movie represents my own process of growing up'
Film

The Lost Girls: 'This movie represents my own process of growing up'

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is a radical reminder that older women are sexual beings
Film

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is a radical reminder that older women are sexual beings

Most Popular

Read All
Exclusive: BT call centre sets up 'food bank' for its own staff
1.

Exclusive: BT call centre sets up 'food bank' for its own staff

Prince William: 'Why I wanted to work with The Big Issue'
2.

Prince William: 'Why I wanted to work with The Big Issue'

Rainn Wilson emailed Star Trek: Strange New Worlds to say Harry Mudd would 'fit right in'
3.

Rainn Wilson emailed Star Trek: Strange New Worlds to say Harry Mudd would 'fit right in'

The UK approach to replacing the Human Rights Act is just as worrying as the replacement itself
4.

The UK approach to replacing the Human Rights Act is just as worrying as the replacement itself

Keep up to date with The Big Issue. The leading voice on life, politics, culture and social activism direct to your inbox.