By Grace Donahue
Amazon Prime’s “The Map of Tiny Perfect Things” totally flips the idea of a romantic comedy on its head. It’s something new and offers an interesting perspective on life, love and what defines being perfect.
The movie opens up on warm-tinted suburbia, serving as the perfect backdrop to highlight how draining the monotony of life is for main characters Mark (Kyle Allen) and Margaret (Kathryn Newton): the only two people aware of a time-loop occurring in their sleepy town.
Mark is the classic high school guy: he bickers with his sister, draws constantly, argues with his dad over his future and plays video games. On the other hand, Margaret is an ultra-cool girl with great style, a laid-back attitude and an air of mystery, as she strangely has to leave Mark every mid day.
It’s a classic story: guy realizes he’s living the same day over and over, guy meets girl — the only other one living the same day — and they search for all the serendipitous or “perfect” moments that happen in a single day. Moments such as having the winning lottery ticket, seeing a bald eagle in the wild or finding a dog that’s been missing the whole movie.
Along the way, Mark and Margaret find patterns within all these perfect moments. Looking for answers to why time runs in a circle, Mark tries out different methods to fix this temporal anomaly while Margaret enjoys reliving this one day for the foreseeable future.
This story of searching for the special moments amid mundane life feels so important to tell right now. It feels so attainable to look at the quiet beauty life offers, especially when we’ve all been sitting at home for almost a year. Watching such a similar plot play out on screen feels like looking at life through a funhouse mirror — a little exaggerated, but all too familiar.
One has to expect a little chemistry between Mark and Margaret throughout their hunt for all the perfect things. It’s a sweet story of their lives on this one day, but it is refreshing to not have romance be the focus of the plot. They are still two flawed people dealing with larger issues than the cute person they’re stuck in a temporal anomaly with.
Living the same day gives them a chance to face their moral shortcomings and become better versions of themselves. Mark realizes he isn’t the hero of this story and tries to make it a better day for all the people in town, and Margaret comes to terms with why she doesn’t want the day to end.
I did not expect to love this movie as much as I did, but it is so worth the watch. It subverts what romantic, teen coming-of-age movies are, even while the characters never actually come of age. This movie is best for when you feel like you’re stuck at home or school, living in your own time loop.