Friday, April 20, 2012

REVIEW: Tiny Furniture

Aura has just graduated from college, her relationship is over and on top of all that she's moving back in with her mother and younger sister. She's in that awkward stage of life that so many girls find themselves in their early twenties. Not yet ready to really start on your own, too grown-up to make living with your family still work. Uncertain what to do with her life, what do with her newly acquired and potentially useless degree, not sure which people to be friends with. Even though the situation could be worse, it does lend itself perfectly to insecurity-fueled melodrama.

That combined with the movies' tagline "Aura would like you to know she's having a very, very hard time" had me slightly worried "Tiny Furniture" was going to be a Sylvia Plath-esque tale of self-pity. But instead, I was slowly drawn into Aura's life through her various awkward encounters, new-found friendships and clipped, dead pan conversations. It gives the viewer an intimate look into this girls' life for a couple of weeks and I started to recognize a lot of myself in her. Her non-perfect body, the odd and off-kilter friendships that seem to be built on a few weeks of intense bonding and then become uncomfortable and slightly unhealthy, her slight neuroticism, trying to decide whether you're still a child or an adult. I think every aspect will be very recognizable to a lot of people of Aura's age group.

"Tiny Furniture" was written and directed by Lena Dunham, who also plays the main character, after she found herself in the portrayed situation. Her mother and sister are played by Lena's real-life mother Laurie Simmons and sister Grace Dunham. This really helps making the interactions very natural and realistic.

I don't think "Tiny Furniture" will be to everyone's liking, but if you're one of those people who finds it hard to stop listening in on stranger's conversations, or if you like dead-pan humor of the likes of Woody Allen, it is worth a watch. Also, if you liked Tiny Furniture, check out the new HBO series "Girls", also written and directed by and starring Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke (Aura's friend Charlotte).

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