It’s hard not to groan at the thought of another riff on Groundhog Day. We’ve had Happy Death Day and Happy Death Day 2U. Surely the time loops and ennui barrel has been scraped till it can be scraped no more? Wrong!
Andy Samberg (aka Jake Peralta, the jauntily gormless hero of Brooklyn Nine-Nine) is Nyles, a genial child-man, forced to relive someone else’s ghastly wedding day, ad infinitum. His life improves when he accidentally drags the bride’s sister Sarah (Cristin Milioti) into the loop.
Like Happy Death Day’s Tree Gelbman, Sarah is promiscuous, boozy, witty and resourceful. Over time, Sarah realises that Nyles is less innocent than he seems and that goats have many uses.
Milioti has been around for while, to be found in TV shows like How I Met Your Mother. She has the kind of zany face you don’t always associate with romantic heroines (imagine comedian Sarah Silverman, with Annabelle-doll eyes). But Hulu and distributor Neon paid $22m for this, so clearly they think audiences will root for her.
Andy Siara’s script subverts the creepy hi-jinks of movies like About Time (gaslighting is NOT ok in this multiverse), and at times, the feminist-slanted fun gets properly dark. J K Simmons, for example, pops up as a suburbanite who delivers a chilling ode to his forever-young wife.
Simmons is his usual nifty self. But there’s not a weak link in the cast. Suffice to say that here, familiarity doesn’t breed contempt. This is a smart treatise on what it means to get stuck in a rut and it’s one that Brooklyn Nine-Nine fans will find especially delightful. Play it again, Samberg.
90mins, cert 15; Amazon Prime Video