I can speak for many couch potatoes these days to say that "sci fi comedy" rarely gets searched when scrolling through the thousands of films across platforms. Max Barbakow is an LA based Director who, after also writing an autobiographical feature documentary about his adoption called "Mommy, I'm a Bastard", tackled a mighty cast for his first feature "Palm Springs". With a world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, this mystery driven narrative of naughtiness was sure to stimulate some laughter.
Andy Samberg is one of those actors you envision turning up to a movie set blissfully unaware of the situation, but beaming with happiness. He plays the role of Nyles, a lonely boozy guy trapped in a time loop with his cheating girlfriend, so perfectly, that you're eager to cheers a beer with him by the pool. The film characters ooze a pleasantly fun theme from start to finish, camping out on magic mushrooms in the desert, and speeding on highways against the police. The two love interest's Nyles and Sarah have a riveting connection on screen, allowing for pauses of intimacy, that makes their stupid recklessness incredibly sweet.
The colours of the film stand out alongside the quirkiness. Searching to find the same blackhole of red fire that caused them distress, your shown bright indigo skies and translucent pools that throws you into the blazing American heat. Like any summer flick, the music fits hand in glove with the adventures they embark on, as the director comments in an interview, "It’s that Yucca Valley feel that transcends the decades and kind of provides this hedonistic playground for fun,”
Palm Springs (Amazon)
However comical a repeating day drama can be, while the characters look into sillier ways to kill themselves off, it did get tiresome to keep engaging in the same scenes. If it wasn't for the switch up when Sarah suddenly disappearances, making it more of an interesting run to the finishing line, I would have switched off earlier on.
A plain sailing narrative, with a sublime twist, that ultimately leaves you warming towards both reckless beings at the end of the film. In a year of being deprived of breaking any rules, I highly recommend immersing yourself in this dangerous amusing tale, that makes us appreciate the ones we ultimately live our days to the end with.
Initial release: 10 July 2020 (USA)
Director: Max Barbakow
Cinematography: Quyen Tran