The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is a science fiction rom-com starring Kathryn Newton and Kyle Allen. The film is an Amazon Original Movie and was released through Prime Video on February 12, 2021. It is available to stream with an Amazon Prime subscription at no extra cost.
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things follows two teenagers, Mark and Margaret who are stuck in a time-loop, constantly reliving the same day (think Groundhog Day, with a little more teen drama). As Mark and Margaret spend more time together, they create a map of each perfect moment that takes place within their home town.
The film starts off at a great pace, with the audience already gaining a good understanding of the time loop situation Mark and Margaret are facing. Often these kind of films spend a big chunk of time setting the scene, prior to the characters realising that they are stuck in a time-loop, so it was appreciated that in The Map of Tiny Perfect Things, the precedent was already set.
Despite its fast start, the pace of the film does slow quite drastically after the first half an hour or so. Once both leads have been introduced, the film follows their budding relationship for a fairly lengthy amount of time. Granted, this is a rom-com at the heart of it and their relationship does need to blossom and grow, but it was such a swift change in pace that I did start to lose interest at one point. The film does pick up in the latter stages, but as a whole the pace of the film felt a little bumpy.
Both Kathryn Newton and Kyle Allen are highly likeable in their roles and have a good, authentic relationship. I was surprised I didn’t recognise Kathryn Newton – she has appeared in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri as well as starring Lucy Stevens in Detective Pikachu. Kathryn is also set to play Cassie Lang in next year’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and I’m interested to see her in this role and whether it develops into a recurring role within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The time-loop aspect of the film isn’t anything that hasn’t been done before, but it’s a plot device that is always entertaining! For the most part, the time-loop works really well in the film and helps to differentiate it from other teen rom-coms. There isn’t too much emphasis on the science behind the reason for the time-loop and I guess this is by design, given the intended audience. We do get one or two half-hearted explanations, but I’d liked a little more details into the science and reasoning as a result of the time loop.
The ‘perfect things’ which are mapped out across the town are actually quite sweet and heartfelt. From something as simple as a bird catching a fish from a pond, to the impressive janitor playing a masterpiece on a piano, I just wished we’d have seen more of these moments! The concept of all these individual perfect things taking place within the same day is pleasantly charming and gives the film a soulful undertone.
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things suffers from bumpy pacing, but its likeable leads and charming undertones make it a pleasant watch.