Best described as Groundhog Day and Palm Springs for teens, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things explores the story of two teens who meet by chance, and happen to be experiencing the same time loop. The plot follows Margaret (Kathryn Newton) and Mark (Kyle Allen) as they form a connection and try to work out how they can stop re-living the same day over and over again. This is definitely a theme that's been explored plenty of times, yet the movie has a unique and endearing edge that is pushed by its terrific performances and wholesome messages.
Written by Becca Johnson
Kathryn Newton is an actress who has managed to previously prove herself in movies such as Lady Bird and Detective Pikachu, yet newcomer Kyle Allen matches her energy and talent perfectly, sliding into his role with ease. The pair have great chemistry, and it is impossible to not root for them and not find them loveable; they fit the bill effortlessly. It is solely their movie, and although they are magnetic and fun to follow, it means other characters who could've been interesting must take a backseat. We definitely learn adequate information about both teens parents, particularly Mark's Dad played by Josh Hamilton, but some more screen-time for them wouldn't have gone amiss.
Many may be put off from watching this movie because the plot seems very unoriginal and over-done, yet The Map of Tiny Perfect Things definitely has something to say. For a start, this may be the first time we have explored a time loop through a teenagers mind. The coming-of-age theme runs really well, delving into the daily anxieties of a teen that everyone can relate to, even as adults. It also has a very wholesome overall message, aiming to teach it's young target audience about why its important to constantly think of others and appreciate the small details in life. The montage that shows Margaret and Mark running around their city trying to find tiny details that are perfect, such as the positioning of a trucks logo to give someone angel wings, is sweet and simple yet powerful in its message. The movie offers up many scenes that are bound to make the audience unable to stop smiling.
However, it does often fall into familiar territory, particularly within the way it's been written. The script is pop culture reference overload, ranging from Doctor Who to Taxi Driver but feeling absolutely relentless whilst doing so. It also fell into the old-age trap of including relevant and hip phrases such as 'boomer' and 'woke' to try and impress it's young audience, yet inevitably leaving them cringed out. The sooner writers realise they can appeal to the masses without trying to be current, the better. It had to wrap things up somehow, meaning the ending is something that the audience have to buy into. Some may not have a problem accepting it for what it is, but others may have trouble.
Overall, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things may just have what it takes to become a new young adult favourite. It has fun and likeable characters, a cool indie soundtrack and an interesting premise that combines coming-of-age and science fiction pretty seamlessly. However, if you're looking for a movie that explores time-loops this definitely isn't the best one out there, and many may not be able to find the unique edge within this film.