Tiny Furniture – movie review

Tiny Furniture is the 2010 independent film by Lena Dunham, that lead to her hit HMO series Girls. It takes a humorous but loving look at the “artistic” people in Manhattan.

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Lena Dunham is Aura, a young woman who has just graduated from college and now has absolutely no idea what she is supposed to do with her life. Like Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, Aura finds herself surrounded by people who all seem to know exactly what they want and are successful at getting it.

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Tiny Furniture is populated with characters that are uniquely New York.  Aura’s mother Siri is a successful artist, who makes a good living photographing tiny furniture. Siri is played by Lena Dunham’s real mother Laurie Simmons. (In fact, this independent film was so low budget that many of the characters are friends and family of Lena’s, who worked for no pay).

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Aura’s high school aged  sister (played by her real sister Grace Dunham), had just had a poem published nationally. The sister’s success only makes Aura feel more depressed about her own lack of direction.

Tiny Furniture is very much a female-centered world. The men come across as selfish takers, who only pretend to be interested in the women so that they can have sex. (Unfortunately, this profile of men is all to often completely accurate in the real world).

Tiny Furniture is a great film and it is fascinating to see the origin of many of the characters that Lena Dunham would later flesh out in the series Girls.

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The beautiful Jemima Kirke plays Charlotte, a role she would continue in the series Girls.  Charlotte is basically crazy, but unlike Aura; she does know how to get exactly what she wants.

If you love independent films and like quirky humor, you will enjoy Tiny Furniture.

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