“Initially it was never a time loop wedding rom-com,” reveals Andy Siara about the Hulu film “Palm Springs.” For our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video above), he adds, “Back in June of 2015, Max Barbakow, the director, and I had just finished up at AFI. We thought ‘let’s make our first movie together.’ We went out to Palm Springs and talked. We had the seed of a character that claims to care about nothing and put him on a journey to care about something. Finding meaning in a meaningless world. That’s all we had that initial weekend.”
Siara further describes, “Max and I would talk about life and our own existential angst. I got married at the time in ‘Palm Springs.’ There’s some of that in there, as well as our own feelings on love, commitment, shame and depression. It was like we were playing in a therapeutic sandbox together.”
Siara wrote the screenplay for the film, where Nyles (Andy Samberg) has to live the same day again and again with Sarah (Cristin Milioti) at a wedding in Palm Springs. The writer says, “I was trying these failed drafts, thinking ‘what’s the best way to torture this character that cares about nothing?’ Well, you trap him in eternity where people care about everything, perhaps too much. Like color palates for the groomsmen and bridesmaids. Or centerpieces. Or h’orderves. Things that can cause major rifts in families, friendships and relationships. Now trap a person that cares about nothing for all eternity at a place like that. And that’s where it was starting to make sense, and then we introduce the time loop.”
Siara explains that the time loop “helped give some defined boundaries and rules for the world. Keeping it in the desert and keeping it around one location. It forces you to explore what would you do with just being stuck here. Then you have to create limitations within that.”
The scribe confesses, while writing the film, “there was a three-year period that I was engaged, I got married and I had my first daughter. The whole movie was found during that time. That is all tied to the movie. There was never a moment where I stopped allowing all of that to influence the writing. It’s about Taking that leap that they (Nyles and Sarah) both take together is the same kind of leap when you buy a house, or you have a kid, or start a new job.”
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