When two incredibly lonely people who are highly worried about their loneliness discover that they have been trapped in a time loop in which the past becomes the immediate present and the present becomes the distant past, they learn to suffer existence. Isn’t it perplexing? Not if you’re a fan of movies like About Time and others that have utilised and abused the time-bending motif.
Palm Springs is, in essence, a rather straightforward picture, which works to the film’s benefit. Despite the pressures to make it cooler, it remains grounded and less aspirational until the very end.
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What’s There in Palm Springs Movie?
Nyles(Andy Samberg) and Sarah connect at a wedding celebration for Sarah’s sister Tala and her husband Abe on November 9 in Palm Springs. They abandon the celebration in order to have sex in the desert nearby.
Nyles gets wounded with an arrow fired by an attacker while he undresses. Nyles crawls into a cave, wounded, and warns Sarah not to pursue him. Sarah pursues Nyles, concerned about his safety, and is drawn into a vortex.
Sarah awakens to find that it is once again November 9th. She approaches Nyles, who says that Sarah has become trapped in a time loop with him as a result of following him into the cave; falling asleep or dying repeats the loop, repeating November 9.
Sarah attempts a variety of tactics to break free from the loop, but she is unable to do so. Nyles, who has been trapped in the loop for a long time, has grown complacent and careless, having given up hope of escaping.
Sarah and Nyles become fast friends, and Sarah takes up Nyles’ careless and irresponsible attitude. They both start looking forward to their next excursion together with bated breath. Nyles admits that the guy who shot him, Roy, is from the wedding, and that he was caught in the time loop by Nyles unwittingly. Roy occasionally chases Nyles as a form of retaliation, torturing or killing him.
Nyles and Sarah spend the night in the desert, getting high and having sex. Sarah sleeps in the day after the wedding and is awoken by Abe, with whom she had slept on November 8, the night before the wedding. Sarah refuses to talk to Nyles about their previous night, feeling guilty and expressing nihilism about their existence in the loop.
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Interesting Things About Palm Springs Movie
- As students at the American Picture Institute, director Max Barbakow and screenwriter Andy Siara came up with the concept “with an equal eye on Jungian philosophical themes and the pragmatic imperative of scripting a small-budget film that would be straightforward to make.” They envisioned it as “an absurdist comedy mumblecore take on Leaving Las Vegas, focusing on a dejected thirtysomething who journeys to Palm Springs to commit suicide, only to progressively rediscover a sense of meaning in his life.”
- They rebuilt the script into a more ambitious concept with a sci-fi bent when Siara moved on to write for the television show Lodge 49. While Groundhog Day was a crucial starting point for using a time loop in a romantic comedy, Barbakow and Siara realised they wanted to keep their script separate from the movie.
- On January 26, 2020, Palm Springs had its global debut at the Sundance Film Festival. The film’s distribution rights were quickly bought by Neon and Hulu. The film was allegedly purchased for $17,500,000.69 by Neon and Hulu, shattering the previous record for the costliest selling of a Sundance film by $0.69. After guarantees were included in, other sources put the contract closer to $22 million.
- On July 10, 2020, the film was released digitally on Hulu and in select drive-in cinemas in the United States. The film also broke Hulu’s opening weekend record by “netting more hours seen during its first three days than any other film” in the platform’s history, according to the company. It was announced in August 2020 that 8.1 percent of subscribers had seen the film in its first month. According to Variety, the film was the 26th most watched straight-to-streaming release in 2020 as of November.
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Palm Springs was a hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and some speculated that it was because lockdown has reintroduced time loops as a trend. They are, nonetheless, a continuously popular cinematic topic. Palm Springs, on the other hand, provides some much-needed laughter. I’d want to re-watch it.