The Map of Tiny Perfect Things

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The team of director Ian Samuels and writer Lev Grossman (adapting his short story for the screen) score points early on for referencing by name Groundhog Day, Harold Ramis’ revered romantic comedy that finds Bill Murray forced to relive the same day. Such is Mark’s (Kyle Allen) fate: a life of “infinite do-overs” with no end in sight. Everything changes the moment Margaret (Kathryn Newton) interrupts the repetitiveness to lend a hand. She takes special interest in Mark’s drawing, the one that gives the film its title. It’s a compendium of all those privileged moments that make up his day, where they took place, and when. Poor schmuck. The one day he’s doomed to repeat and still he can’t find a girl who wants to be more than friends. The ground covered is not exactly fresh, but what’s a genre film if not new characters inhabiting familiar surroundings? The leads lend warmth and credibility to their quest to find a pattern to Mark’s map. What they do eventually find may have less to do with being stalled and more to do with an unwillingness to confront change. And that’s just one of the perfect things on display that make this film worth a look. (2021) — Scott Marks

Rated PG-13 | 1 hour, 38 minutes
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