Streaming on Amazon starting February 12, 2021
“The Map of Tiny Perfect Things” is fun little movie that takes the young adult romance concept into a ‘Dr. Who timey-wimey’ direction. This makes for a mostly “Perfect” take on an older movie concept – the Time Loop. Think of “Groundhog Day”, “Edge of Tomorrow”, and (most recently) “Palm Springs” — but for the high school kids.
Mark (played by Kyle Allen) is a normal high school student living each day as it comes. Except that each day is the SAME day. For some reason, he is stuck in the same day, over and over again. He has gotten good at memorizing each event and being on top of everything. The opening sequence is a log shot of how he has everything perfectly set-up in the daily routine. But Mark just wants to not feel so lonely, stuck in his little bubble of repeating time. Then one day — on the same day — he meets Margaret (played by Kathryn Newton)…
Margaret shares that same repeating day, so she and Mark decide to stick together more. Mark is enamored with Margaret and wants to always spend time with her. He sure has plenty of that! They roam the small town to find all the “Tiny Perfect Things” These are things that you might miss; such a man at a bus stop who seems to get accidental angel wings, or a tree house that lights up like a festival event, or even a soaring eagle swooping down to snare a fish. They see these things that could happen on any day — but these become special because they know where and when to look for them.
Mark wants Margaret to stay around in the evening, but she always gets mysterious phone call from an older medical student. She always takes off and leaves Mark by himself. Then at midnight, their world resets and they both wake up that same morning in that same day. Mark goes to talk to his best friend Henry (played by Jermaine Harris). Henry is busy losing his violent video game, over and over again. Mark explains everything to Henry, who just thinks Mark is losing it.
Henry never remembers that have had this conversion multiple times, anyway. Mark later than night gets a lecture from his dad (played by Josh Hamilton) about getting serious about this future. “What future?” asks Mark. His sister Emma (played by Cleo Fraser) tells Mark that he might learn a thing or two if he was not focused on himself so much.
Margaret has a bit of secret that she keeps from Mark. But one he finds out, he starts to understand that Margaret might never want to leave reliving this same day again and again. Even when they both tried to leave (by flying to Japan), Margaret ducked out at the last second. Mark woke back up back in the loop anyways. But Margaret decides that maybe she and Mark might a have a way that could lead out. But she needs to make a choice and accept a difficult decision…
“The Map of Tiny Perfect Things” has interesting idea behind it and it has two very talented lead actors. Kathryn Newton and Kyle Allen do a terrific job getting you emotionally wrapped up in the situation that must seem very odd. They work really well together, and there is bitter-sweet back story to Margaret’s life. There is a reason why she might want to stay and repeat the same day. There is an honest chemistry between them, and they look to be having a lot of fun.
Some people can feel a little sour about ‘Time Travel’ or ‘Time Loop’ movies. Maybe that is because they never got to ride in a DeLorean as a youngster. But this movie offers a sweet and fresh look at what might happen should you captured into one of those revolving-door types of days. You won’t even need to look for any groundhogs…
“The Map of Tiny Perfect Things” might not be totally “Perfect”– but stay with it and it will reveal its own treasures.
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things
Directed by: Ian Samuels
Screenplay by: Lev Grossman
Based on novel “The Map of Tiny Perfect Things” (by Lev Grossman)
Starring: Kathryn Newton, Kyle Allen, Jermaine Harris, Josh Hamilton, Cleo Fraser
Music by: Tom Bromley
Cinematography: Andrew Wehde
Edited by: Andrea Bottigliero
Distributed by: Amazon Studios
Release date: February 12, 2021
Length: 139 Minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language, some teen drinking and sexual references
Genre: Romantic Comedy