In Brief: A Groundhog Day clone done teen-romance style. It has some good points but not enough to give it more than an average rating.
Mark wakes up every morning to the same day. It’s the Groundhog Day thing. He’s a teenager and has been locked in this day for months. Much like Bill Murray in the classic movie, he knows things that happen over and over in that day. He shows up in time to save people from this or that, or to watch some interesting event.
Mark is also bored stiff.
Then one day he sees Margaret. It’s obvious that she’s doing the same thing he’s doing and is stuck in the same time loop. They meet and he shows her things and she shows him things. That’s where the map of tiny perfect things comes into play.
It’s a teen romance and the pheromones fly. Margaret, however, doesn’t want them flying. She isn’t telling Mark everything about why she’s stuck in time and is holding back. The why is part of the mystery of the time problem.
A Map of Tiny Perfect Things showcases two young, quite talented actors. Kathryn Newton wowed critics with her work in TV’s Big Little Lies and was a lot of fun in last year’s horrible horror flick, Freaky.
Newton has a bright future if she can avoid being typecast in teen-oriented love stories.
Chemistry is really important love stories like A Map of Tiny Perfect Things and Newton has that in spades with newcomer Kyle Allen. They have an easy way about them and the relationship of their characters feels natural and helps the movie work in places.
However, it’s only in this spot or that.
Allen — like Newton — is a pretty good actor. Not great but not bad. His biggest asset going forward is killer good looks. Being Hollywood handsome is important and acting in movies like “A Map of Tiny Perfect Things” gets you noticed.
We’ll see what he does with that.
Groundhog Day involved romance but it was mostly about a man discovering the need to change and finding out who he really is and how he fits in the universe. This one is just kids stuck in a time loop and you having to figure out why.
It’s a romance with nowhere to go and newbie director Ian Samuels and screenwriter, Lev Grossman take — if you’ll pardon the pun — too much “time” to get to the point. The explorations of time and a person’s place in the universe and love, relationships and wants are based on Grossman’s short story.
It’s never good to drag something short into something a bit over 90-minutes. Doing that puts lots of imperfections in A Map of Tiny Perfect Things.
Director: Ian Samuels
Stars: Kathryn Newton, Kyle Allen, Jermaine Harris, Al Madrigal
Rated PG-13 for mature themes. It’s a not so original idea that works in places and doesn’t work in other places. I didn’t love it or hate it. It’s average. Give it a 2 1/2 on the Friday Flicks with Gary o to 5 scale.
You can see A Map of Tiny Perfect Things on Amazon Prime.
Gary Wolcott has been reviewing movies on radio, television and newspaper since 1990. He believes — and this is an estimate only — that he’s seen something close to 10,000 movies in his lifetime. Gary is a lifelong fan of films and catches a couple of hundred movies a year. He believes movies ought to be seen on the big screen and not on the small screen in your living room or family room. While he loves movies, he also says reviewing film can be a real sacrifice and that he sees many movies so you don’t have to.
He is one of KXL 101.1 FM’s film critics and joined the news staff in 2014. Gary is also the film critic for Tri-Cities, Washington’s Tri-City Herald.