An excerpt from my script review for Palm Springs which will be available 07/20/20:
2.) Plot Stability
Wanting to go into this completely fresh and not influenced by the Cap’n, I have not read his review yet.
(Disclaimer – He did mention in an email that he liked it, I think.)
It was a cute and funny little flick that I was surprised the boss laughed at as much as she did.
I’m a fan of this premise, and what worked really well was that Nyles could take people into the repeating day with him.
That switched it up, and even made for some really fun friction with characters like Roy.
In fact, my personal opinion is that the film fixed some of the minor issues I had with the script.
Most of that has to do with some of the yawn inducing existential dialogue that Sarah shares about relationships and love.
Similar to Groundhog Day, I was glad we’re treated to a “fun and games” section where Sarah is making the most of the situation.
By far my favorite, and one I’m glad they kept in, was when Nyles stops the newlyweds from cutting the cake, due to there being C4 hidden in it, and the villain being Sarah.
Felt right out of a Brooklyn 99 cold open, leading the boss and I to “lol”.
The second, and I wish it would have been bigger/clearer was when the pair are tripping on mushrooms and see a mother dinosaur and her babies walking through the desert.
Completely understand why they were “in the distance” like they were (reduced CGI costs), but if I hadn’t read the script before and told the wife what they were, I’m not sure either of us would have been completely sure.
This project may have felt like a “by the numbers” plot, hitting certain marks a la Save the Cat, but for romantic comedies, I believe we’ve discussed before that’s alright.
The audience kind of expects that, but you should still try to be as creative as possible when you can, especially with a misdirect or two.
Now, what the film fixed…
First and foremost, the ending. In the script you’re left wondering if they got out. It’s pretty clear in the film, and that’s good.
Next was when Sarah goes off to do all the “science shit” to figure out how to get out of the loop.
Can’t say I’m a huge fan of that, both because it was kind of boring (given the Ivy League level physics terms involved) and it felt forced in so it wasn’t like Groundhog Day.
The movie does the right thing and glosses over most of this with a quick montage and then Sarah showing up when Nyles wakes up on what could be their final morning with a plan of escape.
On top of these two main issues, there was a bunch of little stuff. Cutting out characters that were unnecessary. Giving us an alternate location the pair goes to for respite from the wedding, and cutting out/combining scenes we don’t need.
Stuff like that.
What the script did better…
My main issue was Roy.
In the film it’s unclear how he sees Nyles at the wedding at the very end (the goat disappeared, why not Nyles) and then his motivation for staying inside the loop.
In the script it’s pretty clear.
Roy comments that although he’ll never walk his daughter down the aisle, he’s stuck in the “perfect day” so his kids will also never grow to hate him.
Part of me gets that, but having three kids myself, another part knows I’d also want to see them grow up and realize their potential, even if it led to them hating me for one reason or another.
In the film, my wife asked for clarification on why Roy was suddenly okay with staying, and then again at the end.
I told her the end bit especially wasn’t in the script.
The other issue was the reveal of just where Sarah was at each morning when she wakes up. The film gives it away too early, and I liked how it doesn’t come out completely (personally I did not see it coming) until Nyles figures it out in the script.
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