Palm Springs (2020)
July 10, 2020 11:00 PM - Subscribe

In this surreal comedy produced by The Lonely Island, carefree Nyles (Andy Samberg) and reluctant maid of honor Sarah (Cristin Miloti) have a chance encounter at a Palm Springs wedding that leads to some hi-lar-ious complications! They soon find themselves unable to escape the venue, themselves, each other, or the extremely angry Roy (J.K. Simmons). What a day!
posted by Going To Maine (65 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Loved it. Loved it. I’m even happy to pretend that it’s in dialogue with Joanna Newsom’s last album, because it also had time travel themes. It also gave me a very strong Swiss Army Man vibe. That sees more or less unjustified - but the vibrant colors, the periodic extreme violence (those teeth!), the music editing, the general surreality - I can’t explain my brain I’m jut saying.

Anyway! I’m really happy to have seen something funny, weird, vaguely melancholy, and then just goes for a happy ending because why not. What a good movie.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:06 PM on July 10 [7 favorites]


It was awesome! I thought it hit all the marks and was really expecting it to fall apart, but pretty much exceeded my expectations throughout. What a fun movie in such a nihilistic way!
posted by Carillon at 12:09 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Does this film have any scenes/shots with wind turbines?
posted by biffa at 12:21 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


was really expecting it to fall apart

Talking it over afterwards w/ ma epouse , this Isn’t a movie that holds up really well under close inspection, but it really doesn’t have to. It holds up perfectly well for ninety minutes, and that’s completely sufficient.

I would have liked a final follow-up about the dinosaurs, though.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:30 AM on July 11 [5 favorites]


I mean it's the mushrooms right?
posted by Carillon at 12:35 AM on July 11 [5 favorites]


So they didn’t bother to tell Roy about their plan?
posted by Eddie Mars at 8:18 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Actually, a few minutes in the end credits, there's an after-scene where they show you what happens with Roy.
posted by cowlick at 8:50 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Ah, turned off too soon. I’ll have to check it out, thanks.
posted by Eddie Mars at 8:51 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


I took some quantum physics in college and can confirm that's how it works.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 9:39 AM on July 11 [17 favorites]


Does this film have any scenes/shots with wind turbines?

I don’t recall any, but I didn’t scrutinize it.

this Isn’t a movie that holds up really well under close inspection, but it really doesn’t have to. It holds up perfectly well for ninety minutes, and that’s completely sufficient.

Agreed.
posted by Monochrome at 1:07 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


OMG BEST ROMANTIC COMEDY I'VE SEEN IN YEARS. THIS IS GREAT. THIS IS BRILLIANT. I AM SO HAPPY WATCHING THIS. Loving the actors. Loving how the plot works. Loving everything. This is beautiful. Everyone with Hulu should watch it. Everyone.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:32 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


So what is this temporal dimension they're stuck in where Groundhog Day never existed? They couldn't have mentioned it once? Like, "Wasn't there a movie kinda like this once?" A little tip of the hat?

I wasn't always sure why they'd want to leave, but if they were living in a world where Bill Murray doesn't exist, I guess I can better understand. Must have been hard to get back into the habit of having consequences for what they did. Like breaking into people's houses to use their pool.
posted by Stanczyk at 5:27 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


I kind of thought that at first, but... Did they mention Groundhog Day In Russian Doll? I think that the entire movie is kind of enough of a tip of the hat that it doesn’t need mentioning - especially the whole “selfless act” bit - and it’s not like it hasn’t been mentioned in every review. If you know, you know.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:09 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I think they don't HAVE to mention it, especially when enough stuff in the movie parallels it, like the suicide section, and the redemption stuff.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:20 PM on July 11


I enjoyed it! And it introduced me to the Megatron Man song.
posted by Pronoiac at 2:15 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


I pretty much love all time loop stuff and this was no exception.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:31 AM on July 12 [4 favorites]


I loved the revelation that we weren’t seeing the loop from its origin, and the lack of (much) supporting info about Nyles was also a good twist. I would have preferred more emphasis on Sarah, especially since this was sold as a romcom, the genre that is most likely to “allow” a female lead. She just always felt like a supporting character, even as we discovered her subplots and she figured out how to escape the loop.

But all in all, it’s a solid A and a worthy addition to the time-loop subgenre.
posted by Etrigan at 12:19 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


She just always felt like a supporting character, even as we discovered her subplots and she figured out how to escape the loop.

Aw man, my feeling a few days after watching it 1.5 times is that she’s the main character. It’s kind of. Teacher/student/student becomes the master thing. That, plus it being her direct actions that in some way precipitate the final act. Still, I imagine that if we did a total line count for each cast member you would be correct.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:06 PM on July 12


The movie was fine but has anyone else noticed their twitter feed being absolutely bombarded by people not just raving about it, but practically grabbing the reader by the lapels and screaming “You must see this movie!!” I dunno...it just struck me as odd.
posted by Atom Eyes at 7:05 PM on July 12


Aw man, my feeling a few days after watching it 1.5 times is that she’s the main character. It’s kind of. Teacher/student/student becomes the master thing. That, plus it being her direct actions that in some way precipitate the final act. Still, I imagine that if we did a total line count for each cast member you would be correct.

I honestly felt during her research montage that they were going to manage the swap and make her the main character, but then the last big thing was him realizing that he loves her. It just didn’t quite work, and I know that a lot of that was that Andy Samberg is a pretty charismatic (to me, at least). But... it just never quite worked for me.
posted by Etrigan at 7:31 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


I really enjoyed it a lot, but I think this is the rare film that needed to be longer. An extra 20 minutes or so would have benefited both Sarah’s character and the rom side of the romcom.
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:53 AM on July 13 [6 favorites]


When one of them falls asleep, what happens when the other one wakes them back up?

The old lady is looping, too, right? But she's happy to stay. It also makes her "best speech I've seen" line ironic.

There are numerous indicators that he went through a vast number of loops before she joined him, so I had trouble with the idea that he didn't know about her and the groom. Also, I think he was fibbing when he said he didn't sleep with her dad.

I can't get enough time loops stories. Love them.

Both this and Russian Doll deal with exploring the idea of finding yourself in a time-loop with someone who's already experienced — I think there's a lot of untapped potential in such stories, especially those where characters are working at cross-purposes.

Also, I think there's a lot of (creepy) potential in stories focused on manipulating and experimenting with people in a time-loop. Oh! That's a good premise: someone's created a time-loop specifically to toy with the people in it and the protagonist is a person in the loop who becomes aware of this ... and although they initially thought it would be obvious, they encounter a lot of difficulty discovering which person is the mastermind. And the protagonist discovers to their horror that the mastermind already knows enough about them to be able to manipulate them into doing awful things.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:26 AM on July 13 [3 favorites]



So what is this temporal dimension they're stuck in where Groundhog Day never existed? They couldn't have mentioned it once? Like, "Wasn't there a movie kinda like this once?" A little tip of the hat?


Nyles and Sarah are Millennials so they haven’t watched or even heard of Groundhog Day. Roy has but he’s too upset at Nyles for idle pop culture chitchat.


(I thought Palm Springs was terrific and smarter & funnier than Groundhog Day btw!)
posted by Bwithh at 5:18 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


I really liked the Sarah/husband reveal toward the end of the movie. I was genuinely shocked, but it worked so well with what the film already set up. (Sarah's blithe assumption, on the first time loop, that the problem was that she'd been a bad person. And the INSANE "fix" of whispering to her sister that she'd screwed her fiance the night before. ARRGHHHHHH.) And it's such a great impetus for Sarah to, uh, become an expert in quantum physics and find her way out of the maze. Because seriously, IMAGINE waking up to that nightmare everyday.

Also, I don't know exactly who is responsible for this (director? lighting? makeup), but Christina Milioti has serious babyface and I was so happy that they filmed her face in a way that always made her look like a grown woman.
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:37 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]


Twitter is theorizing about who Nana (the old lady at the end) might actually be, if she has some secret significance in a wibbly wobbly timey wimey kinda way. Not sure if I buy that, though it is odd a semiknown character actor popped up for two inconsequential scenes.

My bet is, she got edited out of a larger role. No cosmic significance just cut for time.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:31 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Maybe Nana is secretly the cause of the whole thing CONSPIRACY THEORY!!!!!

But yeah, for all we know she's the original person who got caught in the time loop and has chosen to stay there so she doesn't age and die.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:50 PM on July 13 [4 favorites]


Who knew a time loop movie would resonate with people who have been locked in their homes for months?
posted by snofoam at 3:53 AM on July 14 [10 favorites]


I was waiting for the line where something that Nyles says is somehow referenced as a Nyle'ism.
posted by museum of fire ants at 8:54 AM on July 14 [9 favorites]


Someone should make a COVID-era Groundhog Day style time loop movie where the main character wakes up every morning and has to live the exact same day over and over again: cooking, zoom meetings, trying to entertain children, etc. No matter what they do, they automatically have to live the exact same day over and over again. Finally, when they can’t take it anymore, they realize that actually four months have passed.
posted by snofoam at 1:22 PM on July 14 [8 favorites]


Nana. Knows. All.

Also this was a perfect movie. I spotted only one flaw in the internal movie logic which is fine.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 2:30 PM on July 14


"I was waiting for the line where something that Nyles says is somehow referenced as a Nyle'ism."

It crossed my mind that his name might have been intended to signify that; but, really, he's more of a hedonist and erstwhile philanthropist than anything else. Some people could easily become nihilistic, but I don't think that describes him at all.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:18 PM on July 14


Does this film have any scenes/shots with wind turbines?

I watched closely, and I am confident there are no wind turbines in this film.
posted by mbrubeck at 5:08 PM on July 14 [2 favorites]


Thanks mbrubeck!
posted by biffa at 4:48 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]


It crossed my mind that his name might have been intended to signify that; but, really, he's more of a hedonist and erstwhile philanthropist than anything else. Some people could easily become nihilistic, but I don't think that describes him at all.

Well, sure, but Hedon isn't a very good name.
posted by museum of fire ants at 4:56 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]


I’m in love with Nanette Cole
posted by growabrain at 8:14 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]


She reminds me of Laura San Giacomo, the young sister from Sex Lies and Videotapes.
posted by growabrain at 5:06 PM on July 16


Also, the dinosaur scene - which happens in the midpoint of the movie, exactly after 45 minutes - reminds me of the HIYA talking freeway sign from LA Story.
It's the heart of the movie.
I watched this film *THREE* times in a row yesterday - I liked it so much.
posted by growabrain at 4:44 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


So at the end we see a Nyles who isn't looping and has never met Roy.

In each loop, does Nyles disappear when he goes to sleep at night, or is there a Nyles in each of those timelines dealing with the results of what he did the day before? Is this a cut and paste situation or a copy and paste situation? And regardless, there are obviously at least 2 Nyles' in the world at the end of the movie (or just after) unless the non-looping Nyles is going to pop out of existence at the end of the day? I need a drink.

Great movie though. I really like the take of a lovable doofus just enjoying the same day, and I love the Roy house scene.
posted by ftm at 7:32 AM on July 20 [2 favorites]


It’s just a movie; you should really just relax.
posted by Monochrome at 8:48 AM on July 20 [2 favorites]


It’s just a movie; you should really just relax.

Overanalyzing movies is a perfectly sound way to blow off steam in the apocalyptic dumpster fire that is 2020.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:13 AM on July 20 [7 favorites]


I spotted only one flaw in the internal movie logic which is fine.

Was it that when the goat left the loop it didn't come back for Sarah, but when Nyles left the loop there was a non-looping version of him there for Roy? Because that is still bugging me. But maybe when she said it wasn't there anymore, she was giving an abridged version because they were on a timeline, and she just meant the version she pushed into the loop wasn't there anymore but the original was?

Some people could easily become nihilistic, but I don't think that describes him at all.

I agree, but he certainly seems to describe himself that way, at least up until Sarah gets them arrested.

So at the end we see a Nyles who isn't looping and has never met Roy.

Now I wanna know what happens if Roy frogmarches that new Nyles out to the cave. Lucky he had a change of heart.
posted by solotoro at 9:35 AM on July 20


Since taking the Quantum Exit resets that person to their unlooped state for any remaining loopers, it's technically possible this isn't the first "Sarah loops until she understands quantum physics" iteration that Nyles has experienced.

I don't think this is supported at all by the movie, because he didn't do anything particularly special that would've required multiple meta-loops. If he wanted to leave, he could have gone along with her plan at the start, and if he wanted to convince her to stay he would've kept trying.

There are a number of dark places this concept can go, which the script dodges by making a point of showing Nyles still doesn't want to truly harm anyone despite the creeping nihilism of the situation.

This film kinda works as a sequel or continuation to Groundhog Day, as in "what if Groundhog Day but you couldn't get out by being a 'good person'". I could also see it being extended to "what if Groundhog Day but you couldn't get out at all", while keeping the idea of bringing more people into the loop.

One way I imagined it might end was with more and more people being added into the loop until society got transformed into whatever you get with a bunch of effectively immortal people who wake up in the same place every day. But that's a little bit heavy for a rom-com.

The idea that sleeping resets the loop makes the thing hard to extend though. They didn't explore what happens if a looper takes a nap but is woken up by another looper. Maybe they wake up as the looping version, which means a given loop can always continue as long as one looper is awake, which becomes inevitable as you add more people to the loop. Or they wake up as the unlooped version, who now has a great deal of questions. Either way feels a little unsatisfying, makes me kinda wish they just reset at 6am or whatever.
posted by tjgrathwell at 10:40 AM on July 20 [4 favorites]


I guess my MST3K joke didn’t quite land.
posted by Monochrome at 5:51 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


I got the joke, I just like to nitpick certain movies anyway :)
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:40 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


I don't think this is supported at all by the movie

But the movie does support the theory that Nana has experienced the metaloop! Hear me out:

Nyles is presumably in the loop because some decision he made on the very first iteration of the wedding that brought him to the cave. Which arguably means if there is a reset version of him after the repeating version of him exits, unless Roy's post-credits 3-second interaction changes his actions significantly*, that new version of him is just going to loop again. And pull a new Roy in (assuming Roy does eventually decide to exit to see his kids grow up). And pull a new Sarah in. If there's no outside observer, maybe that all works out timey-wimey-wise.

But if Nana also got into a loop on her own, and is committed to not leaving, she could have already seen this metaloop play out as many times as this Nyles has seen the day itself play out. Which means she was not kidding when she said he couldn't imagine how many wedding speeches she's heard. Hell, she may even have learned that her saying that exact phrase to him is precisely the nudge needed (on a day with Roy hunting) to eventually move him and Sarah out of the loop, all to start over again**.

What's the textual basis for this interpretation? It's Nana saying telling Sarah she knows she's about to leave. That's not just a clue she's in the loop. It's a clue she's in the metaloop, because if she'd only looped as much as Nyles, what possible information would she have that would lead her to know that Sarah has figured out how to leave, and thus needs saying goodbye to?

*Or worse, maybe having random-to-him Roy calling him a shitbird*** is what CAUSES him to loop.
**Unless Nana wills otherwise, because according to this theory, she knows this little timeloop universe inside and out and is basically God there.
***This is mostly here because I think nested footnotes are hilarious, but also why isn't "shitbird" much more of a thing than it is?

I guess my MST3K joke didn’t quite land.

Sorry, I am definitely in the demographic to be a big fan, most of my high school and college friends were, but I just never got into it.
posted by solotoro at 6:20 AM on July 21 [2 favorites]


I guess my MST3K joke didn’t quite land.

John Scalzi taught me that it's hard to know exactly how my jokes will be received.

I didn't laugh either, I thought you were being a jerk/tone police. Thanks for the clarification. :) I actually AM a huge MST3K fan, and I still took it the wrong way. That's the internet for you.
posted by seasparrow at 11:01 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Was it that when the goat left the loop it didn't come back for Sarah, but when Nyles left the loop there was a non-looping version of him there for Roy? Because that is still bugging me.

I think there are a lot of problems with the implications of the stinger scene with Roy, beyond just it being inconsistent with the goat. If this is Nyles just living out his first go-round at the wedding, doesn't that mean he's going to end up in the cave as he did the first time through? If he doesn't, what happens to him from an outsider's perspective at the end of the day? Does he suddenly teleport from his room to the neighbor's pool?

Anyway, I really liked the movie, and I get why they didn't want to leave Roy stuck, it just raised a lot of questions that I don't think the movie had thought through.
posted by Ragged Richard at 1:42 PM on July 21


"If he doesn't, what happens to him from an outsider's perspective at the end of the day? Does he suddenly teleport from his room to the neighbor's pool?"

From an outsider's perspective, there's no loop. So he goes on to the next day. I don't think that's a problem.

It's not even necessarily a problem with regard to him eventually looping (from the perspective of a looper) if it's the case that the choices of loopers are the only non-deterministic things which can lead to creating more loopers (e.g., a looper does something to lead Nyles into the cave).

That raises the question about how the first looper was created, but a possible answer is that it could be that the first looper's entrance to the cave was inevitable, but their choices once they loop are not.

Of course, the experience of looping logically implies a multiverse (where individual universes are physically real — or even where they are virtual, as within a simulation) and, unfortunately, also unavoidably raises the question of "meta-determinism", which I'd argue is just a deterministic multiverse.

A non-determinatistic universe is very similar to a geocentric universe in that it vastly overcomplicates the theory so as to allow a subjective experience to be incorporated into the theory as a postulate: "my experience of the immobility of the Earth is physically real" in one, and "my experience of free-will is physically real" in the other. If you question the assumption, an alternate much simpler theory is immediately obvious.

So let's imagine a deterministic multiverse. How do you account for the experience of free-will? Well, it could merely be a cognitive "white lie", a consequence of the brain's use of memory to create a continuity of "experience". That provides us with a biological explanation for the "experience" of free-will (and even the qualitative experience of time passing) which, in turn, allows for a deterministic quantum multiverse where the wave function doesn't "collapse". Which is rationally satisfying, but extremely counter-intuitive to the point of being very upsetting. But people found (and still find) the notion of the Earth in motion to be extremely counter-intuitive and and very upsetting.

In this deterministic multiverse, what could cause this "experience" of looping? Well, if the multiverse is deterministic and time a dimension within this multiverse vector space, then a loop entry/exit point is a singularity connecting neighboring universes, but at an angle such that for each universe, it exists at a different proportionally offset moment in time — it's a "tunnel" connecting parallel universes at an angle with regard to time. Why is that point on a line or line segment in each universe such that it exists as "the cave", which has an existence that spans a length of time within which the singularity exists? Well, maybe because the physical conditions of the multiverse which allow the existence of the singularity require those surroundings. The "cave" is the deformation of a universe's spacetime surrounding this kind of multiverse singularity. (In that case, it wouldn't look like a geological cave, however. It just might look very weird.)

So there's a multiverse theory which allows looping. It denies the physical realism of free-will and the experience of time, but gives us a physical theory that accounts for everything.

If you must have free-will, then you'll need to accomodate a physically real experience of moving along a specific timeline, including those which move at an angle across universes. I mean, sure, if it makes you feel better.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:33 PM on July 21


(Actually, the geometry of this kind of multiverse singularity would have to be more complicated to account for the entry and exit points to be stationary in time across all these universes. I think you could just add another "time" dimension and see the singularity as a plane with travel across universes restricted to only one of the time dimensions.)
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:45 PM on July 21




Maybe Nana was the first looper (don't know why she'd be out in the desert, though) and she's experimented bringing other people into the loop. Then she could have previously brought Sarah in, then Sarah eventually thinks to learn physics and leaves the loop (as we already know it's something she might do), and Nana continues trying out adding different people to the loop, getting eventually to Nyles. (We never learn how Nyles first entered the cave!) Nyles loops many times (without noticing or maybe even just forgetting that Nana is looping) and then we reach the beginning of the movie. This makes sense because Nana is more closely connected to Sarah than she is to Nyles and quite likely would have tried her first. Of course she'd not yet bothered with Roy.

Since people who learn how to leave the loop leave behind unchanged, deterministic versions of themselves in the loop, we have no way of knowing who may have done so before the movie started. Maybe at some point everyone was in the loop and everyone except one person left!
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:48 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


Jenfullmoon, your screenrant link leads to multiple interesting articles
posted by growabrain at 1:25 PM on July 22 [1 favorite]


From an outsider's perspective, there's no loop. So he goes on to the next day. I don't think that's a problem.

What I mean is this: which version of the day does someone who's not in the loop experience? It seems, from the stinger scene, like what they experience is the original day, where neither Nyles or Sarah know anything about the loop and just go about their business at the wedding. But then the next day has to be what we see at the end, with Nyles and Sarah in the neighbor's pool, since that's the only next day that they have.

So, from that non-looping perspective, Sarah goes about her day at the wedding, goes to bed in her room, at which point she disappears and reappears in the neighbor's pool (I guess it's possible that they both woke up in their beds the next day after blowing themselves up in the cave and we just didn't see that). But also, as far as you're concerned, Nyles and Sarah don't know each other at all, and now suddenly they're in a relationship.

The reason this is all a problem is because we have to line up the first first day with the first next day, since we see Nyles in the stinger scene living out his first first day. This is in contrast to Groundhog Day, where ultimately the version of Groundhog Day that 'counts', the one that everyone who isn't Phil remembers, is his last go-around. So there are no gaps in logic to explain. It would be no problem if the day that everyone remembered was the one where Nyles and Sarah run off the cave with the dynamite, but the presence of other loopers complicates that.
posted by Ragged Richard at 7:22 AM on July 23


There's one universe where no one loops. There's a set of universes where one or more people loop forever and never leave because no one figures out how. There's a final set of universes in which one or more people loop at least once and then leave.

In the no-loop universe, even though the cave appeared, the next day is like it always was going to be without a loop.

In the set of never-ending-loop universes, there is never a next day.

In the set of ended-loop universes, each next day is unique and is seamless with how its universe's final loop ended.

If we define "non-looping Nyles" as all versions of Nyles that aren't aware of the loop (whether or not a loop exists) then there are non-looping Nyles in each of these sets. Looping Nyles are only in the second and third.

In both the never-ending-loop and ended-loop universes, there are unique versions of all the people who never (knowingly) looped. Some or all of those people will have different histories because they were affected somehow by a looper.

In the never-ending-loop universes, the non-loopers don't experience a next day because no one does — no one ever figures out how to leave and the loops continue indefinitely (until/unless they stop for some extra-universal reason). That's kind of sad because as far as the non-loopers know, the universe just ends.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:03 AM on July 23


I think the goat paradox is easily resolved: it’s already implied in the movie that Sarah may have lied to Nyles, or at least stretched the truth about it, to convince him to come with her. When they enter the cave for the last time, he asks her if her story about the goat was bullshit or not and she doesn’t give him a straight answer. We see no onscreen confirmation that the goat was missing from the next loop.

If the goat evidence doesn’t add up, then I have no problem believing that Sarah was willing to say whatever was needed to get Nyles to join her. That’s not even headcanon or a fan theory; the possibility is directly in the text of the film.
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:05 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


Those mushrooms are fantastic
posted by growabrain at 7:26 AM on July 29


I loved this movie. It was low stakes but interesting, and I thought the chemistry between the leads was great.

I do have a question, though. Why did Roy and Niles go into the cave after Roy shoots him with arrows that first time (well, first time on screen)? Was it just a convenient way to end the day and start again?
posted by Gorgik at 9:36 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Yes. For Nyles, nothing good was going to happen for the rest of that day, with Roy stalking him and arrows in his back; for Roy, the cave was a quicker way of getting back to Irvine than driving. At that point both of them were long past thinking that returning to the cave could break the time loop.
posted by chimpsonfilm at 7:30 AM on August 2 [5 favorites]


This was a fun movie. Decent time loop movie + decent romcom is not an easy thing to pull off. Andy Samberg was good but he's known funny; I've seen Cristi Milioti before but she stands out in this role; she's great.

So, from that non-looping perspective, Sarah goes about her day at the wedding, goes to bed in her room, at which point she disappears and reappears in the neighbor's pool

I think it's merely a reveal, and we can assume they appeared somewhere else and spent some time to get to the pool. But, like, ... what happened at the wedding in that final universe?

What makes the most sense to me dramatically is that the last loop they went through becomes their new reality; in the universe they land on, Sarah gave the best speech; Nyles stole the truck and lied to Spuds. They went into the cave... but did not loop. I suppose they walk or pop out of the cave and Spuds is right there; they deal with stuff off-screen and go to the safe house to chill. They continue on a straight line outwards.

What this would mean is that when Roy jumps, he will be in a different universe because his wedding day past will be different. This seems sad but it's probably what Roy prefers, and it means that Nyles' choice to join Sarah at that time was even more important.

Theorycraftingly, maybe their consciousness/memories are hopping from one sequential universe to the next. All universes are linear and the loop is a spiral. When they fall asleep or die, the magic of the cave grabs their minds and shoves them into their bodies in the "next" universe in the morning. It doesn't matter who goes to sleep or dies first. Each universe goes on after them; so when Sarah drove to Austin, in that universe maybe her body remains there and she's brain dead or maybe we're just following a chain of copies. When they kill people they really are killing people; the universes do not renew.

In this theory the goat instance that is exploded just pops out of the cave unharmed into some other universe. To make it fit with what Sarah says on screen: okay, she started it looping, trained it to recognize her with treats, and the next hop after the explosion, the goat doesn't recognize her, and that's what she would have meant by the goat disappearing from the loop. She has no idea where the goat consciousness went, but it escaped the box/loop/spiral/sawtooth.
posted by fleacircus at 11:13 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


I watched it this weekend and enjoyed it a lot. One question I have, that I haven’t seen people talk about: during the day when Sarah decides to tell her sister about the affair, there’s an earthquake right after. That’s the only time we see that particular earthquake, right? It’s not the one that causes the cave to open. Are we supposed to understand that or is it just left unexplained?
posted by lunasol at 6:28 PM on September 14


It's never explained or returned to again, no.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:15 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


I thought that was the same earthquake. How is it not?
posted by fleacircus at 11:11 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


I thought that was the same earthquake. How is it not?

The one that opened the cave happened earlier in the day, before the wedding.
posted by lunasol at 12:17 AM on September 16


I think it's implied Sarah was wandering around the desert for awhile? I don't remember anything to indicate it was a different time than the one at the wedding.
posted by fleacircus at 12:38 AM on September 16


I watched closely, and I am confident there are no wind turbines in this film.
Sorry, I just realized that my line was supposed to be:

“No turbines in this film. Not a huge fan.”
posted by mbrubeck at 3:42 PM on October 22 [1 favorite]


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