Now on Hulu
I hope I’m wrong, but my theory is that most people are not happy.
Here’s my evidence … First, people choose to have kids. I’m not saying you can’t be happy with children. But it is hard to believe that billions of young people say to themselves: “I have achieved blissful happiness and fulfillment here at age 27. Now I am going to fundamentally and irrevocably change everything about my life.”
Second, people shop all the time for junk that they don’t need. I have never been a major consumer, but I have been a drug addict. And those boxes at your door are just as unlikely to lead to happiness as hard drugs.
Third, consciousness is difficult. We surround ourselves with other people but we often feel misunderstood and alone. Some are fortunate enough to have a partner who truly understands them. But the problem with mortality is that it is certain that your partner will leave you one of these years, or you will leave them.
“We have no choice but to live,” Nyles observes. “so I think your best bet is to learn how to suffer existence.”
The fantastic new movie “Palm Springs” is like “Groundhog Day,” except that it begins years after the leading man has already begun living the same day over and over.
Andy Samberg is perfect as Nyles, whose is – as his name suggests – a nihilist. He has been living the same pointless day for so many years that he no longer remembers who he was or what it was like to have passion or hope.
Love is the missing piece that brings meaning to meaninglessness. One night, Nyles accidentally lets Sarah (Cristin Milioti) join his infinite time loop nightmare.
Every day is the same and their actions have no consequences on other people. Nyles and Sarah use this complete freedom to have some outrageous fun. And, naturally, they fall for each other. “Palm Springs” is a solid romantic comedy.
But the film is more ambitious than that.
Intellectually speaking, “Palm Springs” has more in common with Albert Camus than “Pretty Woman.”
The movie addresses the issue of suicide with surprising honesty. One of the absurdities of life is that it brings sorrow, pain, and hardship but we are instinctively terrified that it will end. Meanwhile, faced with the prospect of eternal life alone, Nyles naturally has tried to kill himself like most of us would. “A lot of suicides,” Nyles muses grimly. “So many…”
Sarah wants to go on a violent crime spree but Nyles advises against it. Even though the people you hurt or kill will come back tomorrow with no memory of it, Nyles explains, “you have to live with what you do.” On top of all the other roadblocks on the road to happiness, guilt about the mistakes we have made can stand in our way.
Sorry this review is so depressing. If it helps any, I am currently a pretty happy man after years of not being happy. Life isn’t all that bad, especially if you have someone in your life to sit on the couch and watch “Palm Springs” with tonight.