The Map of Tiny Perfect Things
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things – based on the short story by Lev Grossman – is a modern teenage romantic retelling of Groundhog Day. Mark is your average seventeen-year-old boy whose father disapproves of his dreams to go to art school. He has a younger sister who he ignores and a mother who works long hours. His life is like any other middle-class American teenager, until he goes to bed and at the stroke of midnight the day repeats itself.
The protagonist uses his infinite time to save people from bird droppings and balls to the face, ending the day with a painful conversation about his future with his dad. He then meets Margaret – who he realises is also in this temporal anomaly – and together they decide to find all of the “tiny perfect things” that make up the day in the hope that this breaks the loop. Whilst Margaret is apprehensive about resolving the repetition of the same 24 hours, Mark begins to see that there is more to life than his own personal experience and that despite having endless time, he is missing out on so much.
This is a charming and uplifting film that surprisingly resonates with a Covid-riddled world despite the short story being written in 2016. The movie handles big issues such as existence, morality and livelihood; concepts that have come to the foreground of many people’s discussions this past year. The feature addresses the idea that life is not made up of grand gestures but small, minor events that remind one how sweet life can be.
However, this work really could have been half an hour shorter or even made as an action-packed short. The movie drags at times and sometimes the narrative loses its way and gets up in scientific explanations which in turn prevents the plot from seamlessly unfolding (no one really cares about the “how?” in these kinds of films). Kathryn Newton, who has an impressive collection of projects under her belt such as Big Little Lies and the BBC version of Little Women, proves her abilities again as she gives a balanced and devoted performance. This is much needed against lead Kyle Allen’s chaotic and shaky acting which sometimes fails to carry the picture through.
Overall, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is a heart-warming story of time and love that very much recognises how the world is feeling at the moment.
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is released on Prime Video on 12th February 2021.
Watch the trailer for The Map of Tiny Perfect Things here: