Happy New Year! I’m kicking off 2022 by watching and reviewing a bunch of movies from 2021.
Title: The Map of Tiny Perfect Things
Release Date: February 12, 2021
Director: Ian Samuels
Production Company: FilmNation Entertainment | Weed Road Pictures | Wishmore Entertainment
I saw this movie described as “If John Green did Groundhog Day,” which I think captures of the gist of the movie but undersells the originality and charm of the movie. Yes, this movie does namecheck Groundhog Day and Edge of Tomorrow, and shares similarities with Palm Springs and other time loop movies. But as a teen comedy/drama/fantasy/romance it also uses the time loop trope to effectively examine the problems of young people ranging from dealing with grief to the fear of a future under climate change.
The movie begins with Mark (Kyle Allen) having already been in the time loop for some time and enjoying the godlike powers that come with knowing everything that is going to happen. Things change when he meets Margaret (Kathryn Newton), a girl his own age who also is stuck in the time loop. They begin spending time together and looking around their town for perfect moments of beauty which Mark documents each morning on a map (hence the title). While Mark grows increasingly interested in finding a way to escape the temporal anomaly, Margaret is more reticent. Mark is also interested in a romantic relationship which Margaret rebuffs.
Over the course of the movie, their are some interesting revelations and character growth I won’t spoil, but it ends up for making a very thoughtful and heartwarming film. With strong, nuanced performances by the lead actors (especially Newton), good storytelling, and editing, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is a lot better than I expected and better than others have been giving it credit for.