It’s hard to find a new spin on a story that’s been told before. This week, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things seeks to traffic in material that we saw done to classic effect in Groundhog Day, not to mention brilliantly spun last year in Palm Springs. This movie could have easily been derivative and a total misfire. Luckily, the flick sidesteps nearly all of the pitfalls, finding a way to make this premise still feel unique. It may not reinvent the wheel, but if you’re looking for a solid new film to check out, this is one not to sleep on.
The film is a romantic drama, with a fantasy/science fiction element thrown in for good measure. Early on, we meet teenager Mark (Kyle Allen), who is living the same day over and over again. Having mastered the day while in this endless time loop, he seems largely content by what’s happening to him. Then, something happens. In short order, his world is turned upside-down when he meets the mysterious Margaret (Kathryn Newton), who he eventually learns is also stuck in the time loop. Brought together by circumstances, a friendship blooms. Mark and Margaret form a rather magnetic friendship, one Mark wishes would be more, as they set out to try and break the loop. Their bright idea? To find all the tiny things that make that one day perfect, wrapping up the day. At the same time, do they even want to exit a day that has perfect elements to it? Ian Samuels directs a screenplay by Lev Grossman. Supporting players here include Josh Hamilton, Jermaine Harris, Al Madrigal, and more.
The casting of Kyle Allen and especially Kathryn Newton goes a long way here. They have some terrific chemistry together, anchoring the fantastical in something real and even touching. Allen had never really been on my radar until now, while Newton continues to showcase why she’s one of the best young actresses in the business. Together, they make a really appealing screen couple, from start to finish. You root for them, and that’s clutch.
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things has charm to spare. The leads do a lot of the work, but the heart at the core of things doesn’t hurt, either. Director Ian Samuels keeps things simple, putting the focus on the central performances, as well as the script penned by Lev Grossman. They execute this premise, never leading you to question whether or not we need another movie of this sort.
Starting on Friday, you can see something pretty fun in The Map of Tiny Perfect Things when it drops on Prime Video. From top to bottom, this is a really solid option for anyone looking to watch something romantic. There’s a fantasy/sci-fi bent to it, but it’s actually very human. Is it Groundhog Day? No. Is it Palm Springs? No. However, it manages to do its own thing, and that accounts for something. Give it a look and see what you think. You may well be pleasantly surprised…
Be sure to check out The Map of Tiny Perfect Things, available to watch on Prime Video this weekend!
(Photos courtesy of Amazon Studios)