PALM SPRINGS has become one of the most pleasant surprises of the year with the Hulu comedy scoring great reviews and breaking viewing records for the streamer. Starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, the film features the duo in a GROUNDHOG DAY scenario, reliving the same day over and over again while finding companionship in each other. Writer Andy Siara recently did an interview with “Consequence of Sound” and before Siara decided to make the film a pleasant romantic comedy, the writer reveals the original concept was much darker.
“We just built this story around Nyles. Honestly, the first version of this movie was more like Leaving Las Vegas, where the guy goes out to Palm Springs to essentially kill himself. And then it just evolved over the years for a variety of reasons. I got married, fell in love, and started a family, and a lot of it is kind of about that. And Max went through shit. But it was always, from the beginning, me and Max as kind of acting as each other’s therapists and entertaining each other and trying to make each other laugh.”
In the film, Samberg plays the role of Nyles, a wedding guest who is stuck reliving the same day over and over again after visiting a mysterious cave at the resort in Palm Springs. Things become more complicated when Sarah, played by Milioti, follows Nyles into the cave and gets stuck in the time loop with him. From there, various attempts are made to escape the loop but they also learn unexpected truths about each other and themselves along the way. Siara says that moving the script away from its earlier darker themes of depression and taking one’s life and into a lighter tone about love, allowed him to include his own musings on love based on personal experiences:
“It’s not autobiographical by any means, but there’s an emotional specificity I guess of my own exploration of commitment and marriage. And as Andy said in an interview right around Sundance, take the plunge can be a profound experience. That’s ultimately what it’s about. It’s about taking that plunge – and what that plunge is. It could be anything to anyone else. It could be buying a house. It could be having a kid. It could be moving in with a partner. It could be getting married. It could be so many different things. So, it’s a deep exploration of that idea.”
The change in tone seems to have been a good idea because PALM SPRINGS has really resonated with critics and fans. The film is one of the best-reviewed movies of the year with a solid 92% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and it has shattered viewership records on Hulu just days after it dropped on the streamer. I must say I didn’t expect much from the film but came out of my viewing pleasantly surprised by how genuine and endearing the film was. Definitely worth a watch.
Have YOU checked out PALM SPRINGS?