Cheerful guy Niles (Andy Samberg) wakes up on November 9th with his girlfriend Misty (Meredith Hagner) in a house located in Palm Springs: Misty came here for the wedding of her friend Tala. While Misty prepares for the wedding, Niles lounges on an air mattress in the pool, drinking a beer from a can. Niles shows up to the wedding in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, a stark contrast to the festively dressed guests, but Niles doesn’t seem to care.
At some point, the floor is given to Tala’s older sister Sarah (Christine Milioti), an extremely unhappy and lonely-looking girl who is pumped up with red wine. Sarah obviously did not expect at all that she would be forced to say something at the wedding, and then Niles decides to help Sarah out: he delivers a heartfelt speech that both the newlyweds and all the guests really liked.
After that, Niles and Sarah go outside to take a walk and make love at the same time, if such a thing, but suddenly Niles is first pierced by one arrow, then another, after which Niles begins to run away towards a nearby cave. Sarah runs after him, though he yells at her not to, and when Sarah runs into the cave, everything suddenly disappears.
And Sarah wakes up again on the ninth of November, and she absolutely does not want to remember with whom and how she woke up on the ninth of November. Sarah finds Niles and he tells her everything. He himself has been living this day for many years. Once upon a time, he got into this cave, which arose after a small earthquake, and he cycled on the ninth of November. There is no way out of this: even if you commit suicide, you will still wake up the next day on the ninth of November. And now Sarah is caught in that noose. Also in it is a third man named Roy (JK Simmons) – the same one who shot at Niles.
For some reason, almost all reviewers, talking about this film, always mention the 1993 film Groundhog Day. No, the analogy is understandable – also a time loop and also a rom-com – however, a plot with a time loop was encountered long before Groundhog Day (suffice it to recall, for example, the United Statesn film “Mirror for a Hero” in 1987), well, the same loop appears in a variety of genre films and TV shows: science fiction “Source Code” and “Edge of Tomorrow”, in the slasher film “Happy Day of Death”, in the series “New Day”, “Matryoshka”, and so on.
The script for this film was conceived by Andy Siara a long time ago, only initially there was no time loop in it and the plot itself was rather gloomy. But later he included a time loop there, and the plot migrated towards a romantic comedy, which, however, deals with some serious issues.
The film was directed by debutant in feature films directed by Max Barbakov, whose short films participated in film festivals and won several awards.
Apparently, the main driving force behind this project was Andy Samberg – he is a fairly well-known actor and musician, a longtime member of Saturday Night Live, a member of the musical comedy group The Lonely Island.
Samberg became the producer of this film and found funding. The finished film was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2020, after which the streaming services Neon and Hulu bought the rights to show the tape for a record $17.5 million and 69 cents. (69 cents were needed to break the previous record of $17.5 million.) Well, this film became one of the most popular on Hulu – the owners of the service did not miscalculate.
So how are we with Bagel this film? I liked it very much: perhaps this is one of the best comedies of all time. Easy, funny, witty, no “Groundhog Day clone”, as one of the strange reviews wrote, is not even close, and potentially winning moments associated with the time loop were carefully played here, while not forgetting to touch on some interesting psychological moments.
And this film is much more fun than comedies by Judd Apatow or standard comedies with Seth Rogen.
Andy Samberg is generally a pretty badass guy who loves to mock old-fashioned notions of romance. Here are a couple of clips of Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake that give you an idea of his level of banter.
Nostalgic hip-hop Dick in a box.
Romantic rap Motherlover, where the heroes of Samberg and Timberlake decided to provide sex services to each other’s mothers. Mothers, by the way, are played by Patricia Clarkson and Susan Sarendon.
But, however, in this film, Samberg is still more of a romantic hero than a parody of him. His character is spelled out quite neatly here: it is clear that Niles can do absolutely anything during the wedding, the loop will write everything off, but he does not do anything particularly idiotic. On the contrary, everything is developing quite neatly, especially since Niles does not exist alone in the loop, but Roy also appears on the horizon, and various interesting collisions arise from this.
I liked Samberg here, he got into the role quite clearly. If the same Seth Rogen had been in his place, then the level of vulgarity in the film would have increased by an order of magnitude (in this case, there is, but rather in microscopic doses for an American comedy), and the character from a romantic would become frankly buffoonish. And Samberg – no, he’s not like that.
I really liked Christine Milioti in the role of Sarah, that’s just extremely. A very unhappy and endlessly lonely girl at the beginning, a clear tear-off in the middle of the picture, where Sarah and Niles were having a good time with might and main, well, a well-acted story with their romantic relationship at the end, where they had to resolve serious contradictions in their worldviews.
I also note that there is a correct moral for today’s youth: Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day started his time loop on all sorts of nonsense like the ability to throw cards at a hat and learn to play the piano, and Sarah began to storm modern science, which is very commendable.
Jay Kay Simmons has a small role here, but each of his appearances is just some kind of holiday. And he is especially good in the scene when Niles comes to Roy’s house.
In general, I liked it very much. Despite the director-debutant, downright mature and great. A real romantic comedy with very clear proportions of romance, sex, slight recklessness and violent deaths of various kinds. We approve completely!
PS By the way, contrary to the current American cinematic realities, everything here is somehow strangely disproportionate. Among the heroes, there is only one black man – what is it all about? True, at least he is gay, and this somehow excuses the film crew. But he was given literally three minutes of screen time. Which again doesn’t excuse the crew at all.
Hang out in Palm Springs / Palm Springs movie meaning
Director: Max Barbakov Cast: Andy Samberg, Christine Milioti, JK Simmons, Peter Gallagher, Meredith Hagner, Camila Mendes, Tyler Hoechlin, Chris Pang, Jacqueline Obradors, June Squib
Romantic comedy, USA-Hong Kong, 2020, 90 min.