Review: Palm Springs (Sundance 2020)

Title: Palm Springs
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Max Barbakow
Starring: Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, Camila Mendes
Runtime: 1 hr 30 mins

What It Is: Nyles (Samberg) is a guest at the wedding of Tala (Mendes) and Abe (Tyler Hoechlin). Tala’s sister Sarah (Milioti) is the maid of honor. During the reception, Nyles sets his gaze on Sarah. As he charms her with his wit…and a smorgasbord of spirits, the two look for somewhere private to “get acquainted”. They decide on the beautiful deserts of the titular city. When Nyles ends up going into a cave Sarah follows and that’s when all the craziness goes down.

What We Think: Alongside Dinner in America, we have two great romcoms coming out of Sundance 2020. This one, which now owns the record for largest sale in the festival’s history (beating The Birth of a Nation) by of course 69 cents. This is one of the funniest films I’ve gotten to see in quite some time. Sandberg (who also was a producer) is at his peak of brilliance. Subsequently he is then overshadowed by Milioti who is stellar. I sat in the theater laughing my ass off. It’s funny and has a heart of absolute gold. Its nihilism is something that I myself completely related to. That thought of “does any of it matter?”. It’s one I have myself all the time. The way it addresses this theme is so funny and so emotional with a script that might be the sharpest of any proper rom-com in recent memory and performances that are up and down hilarious.

Our Grade: A+, Smart and with just enough range in emotions there’s something to be said for just HOW WELL the rom-com formula works when changed and tweaked just enough. Milioti is the big takeaway here. She hasn’t been this good in this kind of role since It Had to be You. I don’t think I’ve EVER seen Sandberg this damned good. It isn’t just that his comedic chops are there–which they are–it’s that he’s doing some things we don’t often get to see him do. It really is not a wonder Hulu and Neon put out 17.5 million dollars to acquire this one.

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