Since the release of the beloved romantic comedy Groundhog Day back in 1993, the time loop plot-line has become a pop-culture staple and is still frequently being used in films to this day. Hulu’s Palm Springs is the latest film to reinvigorate this such troupe in an unpredictable and thought-provoking fashion. The film is one of the most widely beloved and successful films of the year, so here are five similar films that we think are worth checking out.
Groundhog Day (1993)
As mentioned, Harold Ramis’ innovative, clever and heartfelt romantic dramedy is often viewed as the godfather of time loop movies. Bill Murray stars as Phil, an extremely self-involved weatherman, who wakes up one morning to realize that he reliving the same day over and over. With each attempt to escape the time loop, Phil begins to acknowledge his flaws and care about the people around him. While on the surface Groundhog Day is a good natured romantic comedy, its far deeper and more introspective than anything Ramis or Murray had done previously. Showered with acclaim upon its release, Groundhog Day is one of the most iconic films of the 1990s which kick-started Murray’s career as a serious actor, proving that he could do drama just as well as comedy. If you have not seen this certified classic, definitely make it a priority!
Happy Death Day (2017)
Expectations for this Groundhog Day inspired horror-comedy were relatively low due to its lacklustre trailer, but Happy Death Day ended up surprising both critics and audiences, gaining cult status immediately upon release. The film revolves around a self-centred and popular college student named Theresa Gelbman (Jessica Rothe), who is unfortunately murdered on her birthday by an anonymous person wearing a mask. However, Theresa wakes up to discover that she is forced to relive that day until she discovers the identity of the person who killed her. The film puts a fun horror-based twist on the time-loop troupe and raises the stakes by giving the protagonist a limited amount of chances to discover the identity of her murder. Happy Death Day is a clever and thoroughly entertaining film that strikes the perfect balance between suspense and comedy, while leaving some room for some genuinely heartfelt moments.
About Time (2013)
British screenwriter and filmmaker Richard Curtis is primarily known for his work on beloved romantic comedies such as Love Actually and the Oscar nominated Four Weddings and a Funeral, but his fantasy-based romantic dramedy About Time may be his most heartwarming and poignant film to date. Domhnall Gleeson stars as Tim Lake, a 21 year-old man who discovers that he has the ability to travel through time, a trait that has been passed through the generations of his family. Tim uses this ability to win over Mary (Rachel McAdams), a young woman who he falls head over heels for. Though as time passes by, Tim learns that his unusual powers can’t protect him and his loved ones from the difficulties of life. About Time is a unique and heartfelt film that explores the concept of time travel in a refreshingly grounded and poignant fashion.
Before I Fall (2018)
While it may not be as unanimously acclaimed as the other films on this list, Ry Russo-Young’s poignant teen romance film is an interesting take on the time loop formula. Zoey Deutch stars as Samantha Kingston, a popular high school girl who is kind at heart, but disregards the feelings of those around her to maintain her popularity. One fateful night on her way from a disastrous party, Samantha supposedly dies in a car crash, along with a few of her friends. However, she wakes up to realize that instead of dying she is forced to relive the same day over and over again, until she learns an important lesson. Before I Fall is one of the better teen romance films to be released within the past few years and its powerful anti-bullying message definitely makes it worth supporting.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Doug Liman’s fast-paced, futuristic, action-packed thriller may be very different in tone than Palm Springs and the other four films we previously mentioned, but its fascinating and refreshingly original take on the time loop storyline makes it impossible to not include on this list. Tom Cruise stars as Major William Cage, an officer for the army who is sent on an incredibly dangerous mission during a war against an alien race, in which he is unsuccessful and is killed within moments. However, Cage wakes up to find out that he has been caught in an everlasting time loop, that gives him the opportunity to slowly learn about their enemy’s weaknesses. He enlists the help of warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) to save earth and the human race from an alien invasion and to help him escape from the mysterious time-loop he is caught in. Edge of Tomorrow is an exciting and original action film that is worth checking out, regardless of if you typically like the genre or not.
still courtesy of Hulu
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