The Map of Tiny Perfect Things

We all know time loop movies. It’s the Groundhog Day formula. A character is stuck in a time loop repeating the same day over and over until they are able to break free. These movies really need to do something special to distinguish themselves.

What distinguishes The Map of Tiny Perfect Things now streaming on Amazon? Well it’s low key charm and the way it makes it’s time loop about something more than just a gimmick.

The film follows two high schoolers Margaret and Mark who are already deep into their respective time loops. Mark, played by Kyle Allen, has the day pretty much memorized at this point and uses the repeated day as a means of getting a girl. One day though things change when Margaret, played by Kathryn Newton, storms through his life. They decide de to try to break through the time loop by finding every perfect little moment that typically goes unnoticed during the day.

The leads are charming and charismatic. They have an easy chemistry and make the journey fun. The film throws a few wrinkles into their relationship, so that it never feels like an inevitable straight line. I enjoyed them both thoroughly especially Kathryn Newton.

Where the film surprised me and won me over was in the final act. I don’t want to give anything away, but the fun and games shift. The time loop takes on a more metaphorical or thematic nature rather than a strictly literal time loop. The movie dives into an exploration of moving on, feeling trapped, and not wanting things to change. It takes on more emotional resonance as it explores Margaret’s character and her story. To me this is where the movie really begins to click into place. It takes a long albeit charming road to get there, but it does get to a place that works for me on an emotional level.

I liked that this movie didn’t go for the big gags and bits these movies often do. There aren’t any big death scenes or slapstick violence. I appreciated that the movie took a different approach. It’s a more youthful optimistic approach to the time loop.

In the end, I think this is a nice Sunday afternoon movie. It has that easy going charm. It’s funny. It’s pleasant. It’s leads are good company. It has a strong emotional story that works nicely to offset the premise. I can definitely recommend this one.

It’s my cup of tea. B+

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