Hollywood has been revisiting a concept that famously started with 1993’s Groundhog Day within the past few years with Edge of Tomorrow, Happy Death Day and Palm Springs. Amazon Prime’s Valentine’s Day weekend gem, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things, continues the trend through the lens of a sweet coming-of-age movie. A fun bit about the movie starring Freaky’s Kathryn Newton is how it pays homage to the concept by referencing the movies before it.
While speaking to Kathryn Newton and Kyle Allen for The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things, I asked the actors how the movies of time-loop past played a part in the making of this movie for them. Here’s what Newton had to say:
I felt like we had something so different on our hands. We had the time loop to create this world, but it wasn’t really about that, it was really about two teenagers who helped each other grow. It’s about this girl who falls in love who helps her move on from her past. You have to move on from your past whether it's good or bad to keep living. I watched Groundhog Day just for fun and the biggest takeaway is how grounded they keep it in that movie. When you have a high-stakes movie in a fantastic sci-fi world, you just have to treat scenes with a delicate approach. So we just leaned in on that.
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is not Groundhog Day. It uses its concept to tell a completely different story, but Kathryn Newton did pop on the 1993 movie before stepping on to the set of the Amazon Studios film. She learned about the importance of rooting a high-concept in a genuine storyline and that definitely comes off in this release.
The movie is about Kyle Allen’s Mark, a teenager who finds out Kathryn Newton’s Margaret is stuck in a temporal anomaly with him. They form a friendship and start to create a map together of notable moments that happen within the span of the same day. CinemaBlend also spoke to the movie’s newcomer Jermaine Harris, who plays Mark’s best friend, Henry, who is not aware he’s living in the same day over and over. The actor offered his take on the time loop element with CinemaBlend well:
I have watched a lot of different time loop movies, I know I’ve seen Groundhog Day so many times, never finished Edge of Tomorrow. But I do know, I did like that too about how we still hinted and we paid homage to other time loop movies as well, but we see our own spin on it too. It’s kind of like we broke the fourth wall, but we didn’t. Like we’re aware of what we're talking about and how crazy this sounds like, this is in movies, but it's real for Mark. Henry, my character, is like ‘dude, are you going to play this game with me or not? This isn’t real.’ … That was one of the main things that drew me into it because how we took a different spin on it. I think other people will enjoy it too that we paid homage to certain things.
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is a great pick-me-up for fans of the subgenre, for sure, and it’s fun to watch one where the characters are self-aware that it's happened in movies before. The movie is based on a short story by Lev Grossman, who also wrote the script and follows some beautiful themes about appreciating the moments we have and finding the strength to move forward. It's a fun twist on the concept, and feels like a fun sister film to last summer’s Hulu hit Palm Springs. While The Map of Tiny Perfect Things may look like it could be a rerun from the outside looking in, having its time loop movie references on its side actually makes it better for it.