The Map of Tiny Perfect Things

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The Map of Tiny Perfect Things
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things poster.png
Official release poster
Directed byIan Samuels
Screenplay byLev Grossman
Based on"The Map of Tiny Perfect Things"
by Lev Grossman
Produced by
CinematographyAndrew Wehde
Edited byAndrea Bottigliero
Music byTom Bromley
Distributed byAmazon Studios
Release date
  • February 12, 2021 (2021-02-12)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is a 2021 American science fiction romantic comedy-drama film directed by Ian Samuels, from a screenplay by Lev Grossman, based upon his short story of the same name.

It stars Kathryn Newton and Kyle Allen as Margaret and Mark, two teenagers stuck in a time loop where they are forced to repeat the same day.

The film was released through Amazon Prime Video on February 12, 2021.[1] It received positive reviews from critics, with particular praise aimed at Newton’s performance, though some were displeased with the film’s familiar plot.


Mark, a teenage boy, has been stuck in a time loop, repeating the same day over and over again. After many iterations of the loop, Mark has perfected several routines and is able to aid other people by anticipating their movements. Developing a crush on a girl he gives directions to, Mark goes to the community pool to meet her again, saving her from being knocked into the pool by a beach ball. However, his efforts to spend more time with her are constantly frustrated. One day, while Mark is waiting to save the girl from the beach ball, another girl, Margaret, unexpectedly intervenes. Mark tracks her down and discovers that she is also living in the same time loop.

Mark and Margaret spend time together. Mark tells her about desire to go to art school, and his father quitting his job to write a book on the Civil War; she talks about her dream of working as a mission specialist for NASA, and how she has been looking for a missing dog. They become close, although Margaret seems less interested in trying to escape from the time loop than Mark. Every evening she hurries off after receiving a text from a medical student named Jared.

Mark and Margaret decide to look for moments of perfect beauty during the day; Mark conjectures that they might escape the time loop after finding all of them. To cheer Margaret up, Mark creates a mock-up of Tranquility Base in the school gym for her. Later, at his room, she sees a map he has created of the perfect moments. Mark leans in to kiss her, but she avoids the kiss, saying she doesn’t want to be more than friends. The next day, when his dad comes to talk to him about his future, Mark calls him hypocritical for chasing his own dreams while thwarting Mark's. After talking to his sister Emma, Mark learns their dad didn't quit his job, but was fired and was too proud to admit it.

Mark suggests to Margaret that they might be able to break the loop if they go far away. They buy tickets to Tokyo, but Margaret leaves the plane before takeoff. When the plane crosses the International Date Line, Mark wakes up in his bedroom, realizing the plan didn't work. He decides to focus on others in the next loop. He invites his father to tell him about the Civil War, and attends Emma's soccer game, where she scores a goal that she did not score in the loops when he was not there. While attempting a skateboarding trick, Mark injures himself and is taken to the hospital. There, he sees Margaret visiting her mother, who is dying of cancer. Mark realizes that he isn't the center of this story, but rather Margaret is.

Margaret wakes up and manages to find the lost dog she has been searching for. She then has a conversation with Mark's friend Henry, whom Mark has repeatedly confided in about the time loop. After helping Henry win his video game, Margaret has an epiphany. She creates a three-dimensional model of the times and places of the perfect moments using string. The shadow cast by the model creates an image of a four-dimensional cube, with a single vertex missing. She determines that the final event will occur at 7:00 PM at the pool.

Margaret finds Mark sitting alone at the pool and explains that she is responsible for the time loop: this was the last day her mother is alive, and she was not willing to move past it. But she now believes that Mark was caught up in the loop too in order to allow her someone to move on with. The two of them kiss.

Margaret goes to the hospital and says goodbye to her mother for a final time. She and Mark go outside. At midnight it begins to rain, signalling that the loop has been broken. The next morning they finally return the missing dog.



In September 2019, it was announced Ian Samuels would direct the film, from a screenplay by Lev Grossman based upon his short story of the same name, with Akiva Goldsman producing the film under his Weed Road Pictures banner, alongside FilmNation Entertainment.[2] In February 2020, Kathryn Newton, Kyle Allen, Jermaine Harris, Anna Mikami, Josh Hamilton and Cleo Fraser joined the cast of the film, with Amazon Studios distributing.[3]

Principal photography began in February 2020.[4] Filming took place in Fairhope and Mobile, Alabama.[5][6]


Critical Response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 77% based on 66 critic reviews, with an average of 6.4/10. The website's critics consensus states, "Its characters' time-loop journey is a little bumpy and fairly familiar, but heartfelt charm and likeable leads make A Map of Tiny Perfect Things worth following."[7] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 61 out of 100, based on 16 critic reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[8]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2021 Golden Trailer Awards Best Music The Map of Tiny Perfect Things “Love Story”, Prime Video, Tiny Hero Nominated [9]
Best Romance The Map of Tiny Perfect Things “Love Story”, Prime Video, Tiny Hero Won
Best BTS/EPK for a Feature Film (Under 2 minutes) The Map of Tiny Perfect Things Behind the Scenes, Prime Video, Tiny Hero Nominated
2022 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Movie Made for Television The Map of Tiny Perfect Things (Amazon Prime Video) Pending [10]

See also[edit]

List of films featuring time loops


  1. ^ "Kathryn Newton's 'The Map of Tiny Perfect Things' Sets February Release". Jan 14, 2021. Archived from the original on January 28, 2021. Retrieved Feb 8, 2021.
  2. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (September 26, 2020). "Akiva Goldsman's Weed Road Teams With FilmNation On YA Movie 'The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things', Ian Samuels To Direct". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  3. ^ Donnelly, Matt (February 13, 2020). "Amazon Studios Boards 'Map of Tiny Perfect Things' From Akiva Goldsman and FilmNation (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  4. ^ Newton, Kathryn (February 13, 2020). "✨ THE MAP OF TINY PERFECT THINGS ✨ @amazonstudios @filmnationent". Archived from the original on 2021-12-24. Retrieved February 13, 2020 – via Instagram.
  5. ^ Brown, Blake (February 12, 2020). "Film crews arrive in Fairhope Wednesday morning". WKRG-TV. Archived from the original on June 22, 2020. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  6. ^ Underwood, Jerry (February 19, 2020). "Alabama film industry set for blockbuster year after record 2019". Made in Alabama. Archived from the original on August 3, 2020. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  7. ^ "The Map of Tiny Perfect Things (2021)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  8. ^ "The Map of Tiny Perfect Things". Metacritic. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  9. ^ "2021 Golden Trailer Awards Winners". The Golden Trailer Awards. Retrieved December 9, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Television Nominations Announced for the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards". The Critics Choice Association. December 6, 2021. Retrieved December 9, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links[edit]