‘The Map of Tiny Perfect Things’ seemed like a perfect little flick to have a ‘watch party’ on Amazon with girlfriends. Unfortunately, we couldn’t finish it in one go and then spent three days finding a time suitable for all three of us to finish the last 35 minutes. Since the first half was pretty cute, getting hyped up for the climax was inevitable… but we weren’t prepared for what would come next.
Directed by Ian Samuels, the 2021 time-loop romance is based on a short-story by Lev Grossman about two teens stuck in the same day. The film starts off with Mark (Kyle Allen) waking up in his bed, then going through the day as if he already knows what’s going to happen next. That’s because he does – having lived the same day over countless times. Just when the loop was getting tiresome and frustrating, he meets Margaret (Kathryn Newton) who is experiencing the same phenomenon. Mark falls in love pretty quick, but the mysterious Margaret doesn’t necessarily feel the same. However, the two agree to capture all the little perfect moments they can find around town in their time-loop day.
Kathryn Newton looks like a mash of Saoirse Ronan and Amber Heard, so it was hard not to think of the other two actors whenever she came onscreen. Regardless, she is fun as the cool aloof Margaret, who knows how to let her hair down and keep a boy at a distance. There’s a plot twist attached to her character which helps build decent intrigue around her, but when her ‘secret’ is out, it is both slightly surprising and disappointing. Kyle Allen is sort of charming as the goofy Mark, a self-centered romantic focused on getting himself the girl he wants. Together, the two make an entertaining enough duo to make the plot work.
Both the protagonists have pretty regular lives on the surface, so if you were a teen who could live a pretty regular day over again an infinite amount of times, would you be happy to be frozen in time? Margaret thinks it’s pretty to great, to never have to age and go through the many responsibilities, anxieties, complications adult life brings with it. Mark begs to differ. Despite their differences, the two have a pretty great time together and all the ‘tiny perfect’ moments they witness together are the sweetest part of the film.
Unfortunately, the climax was incredibly dumb/stupid and almost ruins the ‘feel-good’ vibe the story builds up. It kind of ends like a fan-fiction book written by a teen who loves the romance genre a little too much. Regardless, it’s a decent movie to watch on the weekend.
It’s a 6/10 from me.