The Map of Tiny Perfect Things

  • 19 Jun - 25 Jun, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

One can only dream of having a morning routine as breezy, efficient, and cheeky as seventeen-year-old Mark (Kyle Allen) in the opening scene of Amazon’s The Map of Tiny Perfect Things, a soothing romcom, buoyed by excellent lead performances, that glides on seamless choreography as much as its romantic hijinks. Mark, a prototypical white American teen with a backwards hat, sunglasses and iPod headphones, sails through the film’s unbroken, eye-catching first montage, nailing every mark as if he’s rehearsed it a thousand times: toss a snack to a jogger, snatch a coffee from the top of a car, swing his bike into a just-emptied parking spot, hop into a pick-up bed, give directions to the cute girl on the corner without her needing to ask where, or how.

Mark’s grooved, cyclical existence is upended by the arrival of Margaret (Kathryn Newton), the only other person mired in what the two mutually call their “temporal anomaly”. Given that they are the only two with free will to change their day, Mark and Margaret quickly strike up a barbed, compelling friendship of mutual appreciation. Mark is the directionless artist immediately smitten with the mysterious blonde. Margaret is the enigma, a beauty with a dream of becoming a Nasa mission specialist, who will ramble about the unknown fourth dimension – but loathe to discuss any details of friends and family.

With infinite time at 17, the pair embark on an endearingly cheesy mission: to observe, appreciate, and collect all the tiny, usually unseen, perfect moments in their small town.

It’s obvious, given that they’re the same age, attractive, and the only two people trapped in a time flux, that Mark and Margaret will end up together, and that doing so may hold the key to escape; the protraction of the romance is a genre staple, one the film enjoyably milks for mystery, remaining coy on Margaret’s hesitance for romance. Mark, meanwhile, channels his frustration into some useful lesson for a 17-year-old boy: be less self-obsessed.

All in all, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things holds a contained, idealised world – a trove of rom-com enjoyment and small treasures we had no problem looping through.