New Hulu comedy movie leans heavily on fantasy
If Palm Springs seems a great place to escape to, a comedy named for it makes it a place two people can’t escape from.
The premise of “Groundhog Day,” “Russian Doll” and other time-repeating tales gets a fresh workout in “Palm Springs,” a recent Sundance Film Festival entry that makes its Hulu streaming debut Friday, July 10 — the same day it also becomes available to theaters. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s” Andy Samberg (also a producer of the film) and “How I Met Your Mother” alum Cristin Milioti star as wedding attendees who can’t get away from the event, since the day of the nuptials keeps rebooting itself for them.
“I’d never quite read anything like it,” the friendly Milioti says of the movie, written by Andy Siara and directed by Max Barbakow. “I thought it was so strange and funny and weird and moving. It deals with some really heavy things in its own unique, irreverent way, and that’s the kind of stuff I’m drawn to. I really loved it.”
Though “Palm Springs” has a cast that also boasts Oscar winner J.K. Simmons, Peter Gallagher, Meredith Hagner and Camila Mendes (“Riverdale”), Samberg is Milioti’s principal acting partner. In the script, his character Nyles makes the point that “nothing matters” since almost everything is erased when the same day begins again, but working with Samberg mattered very much to Milioti.
“I was so fortunate to have a partner like him in this,” reflects Milioti. “He is so generous and lovely, and we laughed our faces off. By the end of the shoot, I was wondering if we could do our version of two actors who just keep working together: ‘Is there another movie we could be in?’ I just adore him.”
A 2012 Tony Award nominee for the musical “Once,” Milioti attended the premiere of “Palm Springs” at what turned out to be one of the entertainment industry’s last mass gatherings before the coronavirus pandemic hit. She recalls last January’s Sundance event as “a blast. We saw the movie in a theater in Park City with about 400 people, and it was so incredible to experience it with an audience. It was so special, especially in the face of now not being able to convene in a giant group like that.”
As with so many other shows, work on Milioti’s next series was put on hold by the pandemic. “We have the last 30 percent of the shoot to finish” for HBO Max’s “Made for Love,” she reports, “but what’s comforting is that everybody is in the same boat. It’s not, like, just one production … but I’m very much looking forward to getting back to that show and finishing it.”