PALM SPRINGS (2020)

(Hulu) Yes, PALM SPRINGS is yet another film riffing on GROUNDHOG DAY, where folks are trapped reliving a day over-and-over again, and while everyone was surprisingly pleased when EDGE OF TOMORROW, HAPPY DEATH DAY, and RUSSIAN DOLL proved to be amazing works, I don’t think many people expected Hulu’s PALM SPRINGS to capture the same kind of magic.

Yet, it does. It’s an utterly charming high-concept rom-com that improves on the formula. Samberg plays a less-aspirational fuckup version of the lovable, learnable lunkhead he’s played on BROOKLYN NINE-NINE and it works here, but Cristin Milioti (who I know from FARGO S2, but others may know from HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER) is the star of the show. She’s another fuckup — describing the hows and whys would sadly spoil matters — but she’s the lynchpin of the film, the actionable agent that refuses to settle for living every day as a bridesmaid. Oh, and J.K. Simmons is a third-wheel in a very delightful way. (RIVERDALE fans may want to note that Camila Mendes is in it too, but is given very little to do but sit around and look sultry.)

The trailer below arguably gives a bit too much away, so I’d skip it, but it’s there if you’re on the fence.