Hulu's new original film Palm Springs is reminiscent of the 1993 Bill Murray classic Groundhog Day, but it's at least a funny, well-executed variation of the earlier film.
Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti play Nyles and Sarah, wedding guests stuck in an endless time loop on the day of the wedding. Sarah's sister is getting married, and Nyles is the cuckolded boyfriend of one of the bridesmaids.
Much like Groundhog Day, Palm Springs derives much of its humor from its heroes' strategies for grappling with their predicament. While Palm Springs initially claims to reject Groundhog Day'sidea that the only way to break free of the time loop is to perform selfless actions for others, ultimately, the leads' personal growth is still tied to their escape from their temporal prison.
J.K. Simmons is, as always, a welcome presence in the cast—this time as a wedding guest with a spectacular grudge against Nyles. However, Samberg and Milioti are the keys to the film. In any story like this, the movie's success depends on simple questions: Do I care about these two people? Am I rooting for them to live happily ever after? In Palm Springs, the answer to those two questions is yes.