Written by Lev Grossman of Magicians Famous and directed by Ian Samuels, who also directed YA’s movie “Sierra Burgess is a Loser,” “The Map of Tiny Perfect Things” takes place in one of those cute little American towns where the main street is full of shops picturesque and everything is pleasantly satisfying. It’s so nice that high school student Mark (Kyle Allen) didn’t really care about reliving the same 24 hours for something like 1000 days. He has a routine every day: he wakes up and jokes with his little sister, bangs his head with his father (Josh Hamilton), jumps and skips at school, stops accidents and other small disasters along the way, and then he has just wandered. He plays video games with his best friend Henry (Jermaine Harris), or goes to the neighborhood pool, or steals construction equipment to drive down the street. Eventually, he will eventually return home, where he will have the same argument with his father about his dream of going to art school instead of traditional college. And then, at midnight, his body automatically falls asleep, and the day resets – time returns, events recede, colors escape from Mark’s surroundings and swirl skyward. When he wakes up the next day, it’s always the same.
All of this rehearsal kind of feels like Mark is the only person awake, and he’s more arrogant as a result – he calls himself Sherlock Holmes, and he says he’s psychic. He may be the only person really alive in this world. Until he crosses paths with Margaret (Kathryn Newton), who interrupts her day in her oversized sweatshirt, aviator sunglasses, and her attitude doesn’t bother me. Their cutie encounter happens when she interrupts him while he’s flirting with another young woman, and from that moment on, Mark is delighted. What did she spend her days doing? What secrets has she found in the city he does not yet have? And if they’re trapped in this eternal moment together, shouldn’t they be spending it together?
If you were expecting any surprises after this boy-girl setup, “The Map of Tiny Perfect Things” will disappoint. It’s all pretty predictable from the way so many films aimed at teenagers can be, with tons of pop culture references, an emphasis on releasing and experiencing the original peculiarities of the world, and an emphasis that self-improvement is the only way. to overcome the trauma. When Mark and Margaret decide to make a “map of the perfect little things” they spot around the city – times like a kid blowing a balloon, an older couple playing cards, or a janitor playing the piano – it’s an opportunity for them to give a little and take a little. Maybe reality would reset if Mark paid more attention to algebra, or if he was more sympathetic in a pinch of his father. Maybe everything would be better if Margaret lived more in the moment, or if she accepted more wacky antics from Mark. None of this is particularly difficult, but Allen and Newton are pleasant enough and have easily believable chemistry, and Samuels keeps things moving at a steady pace.