There’s certainly no shortage of movies featuring a time loop or “temporal anomaly.” There’s Groundhog Day, of course, as well as 12 Dates of Christmas, Before I Fall, Edge of Tomorrow, Happy Death Day, to name but a few. So it’s really no wonder that I felt a certain sense of déjà vu watching The Map of Tiny Perfect Things.
The film is based on a short story of the same name written by Lev Grossman, who also penned the screenplay. And it works just fine as a pleasant fantasy romantic dramedy – firmly targeted to the YA crowd. The twist – or ‘anomaly’ as these things go – is that the time loop is viewed as something to embrace, not escape, at least for a while. Repeating the same day over and over (and over again) offers a unique chance to look for and appreciate the little things in life.
The story centers around a quick-witted teen named Mark (Kyle Allen, “American Horror Story”) who seems content to live the same day in an endless loop, fully aware that when the clock strikes midnight, the day resets with the same cast of characters. Then one day he spots the mysterious Margaret (Kathryn Newton, “Big Little Lies”, Blockers). She, too, is stuck in the time loop – and also has her reasons for keeping the clock at bay. Mark and Margaret embark on a journey to find all the tiny things that make one day perfect, and fall for each other in the process.
Will they figure out the key to escaping the never-ending day? Do they even want to? Do I need to draw you a map?
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things won’t rock your world. But it’s cute.
The film is available on Amazon Prime Video on Feb. 12.