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Monday, February 13, 2012

Tiny Furniture Movie Review Lena Dunham Laurie Simmons

I never came home from far off University but it must be strange for a college student to move back in with their parents  after graduation. The former student has all the urges to be an independent adult, yet without income and maturity they are trapped under the rules of their parent's home. The child (or young adult) feels contempt toward their parents rules and, at the same time, self entitled to their parents unconditional love.

Tiny Furniture stars Lena Dunham as Aura. She's a college student that has returned home. Like so many she is struggling to adjust.

Tiny Furniture is a terrific movie that doesn't have a story to tell. There is no deadline to meet or puzzle to solve. This story is all journey and no destination.  A very conversation driven film.  The dialog is very natural and low key. Aura and her family (played by her real-life mother and sister) bicker and love with no significant outcome, just like a real family.  This film is just a glimpse into a brief period in a young woman's life.

Aura is whiny, undisciplined, out of shape, makes poor decisions and is treated indifferently by men. To credit the originality of this film, she seeks no redemption and makes no apologies. The film never asks us to love or hate Aura. This allows us to be ambivalent, toward all of the characters and just focus on what is happening through the camera. We just watch Aura go through the motions and Lena Dunham does this very convincingly.

The film is set in New York City but there is no sweep. The scenery is very austere. It is also very sterile. When I say 'sterile', I mean operating room sterile. Even the most demeaning scene, let's just say it happens in a drain pipe in an alley, felt clean. Clean enough I could have enjoyed a sandwich in that plumbing.

So why are the scenes so plain and ultra-clean? I'm sure film students smarter than I am can come up for reasons the scenes were shot this way. Maybe this is what the transition from college kid to adulthood is like? You think adulthood will bring excitement but don't get much. In college, you spend four years of greasy late night dorm room hamburgers. In adulthood you graduate to chilled wine in a whitewashed linoleum kitchen.

Who knows? Who cares? This is a film that has sensory depraved scenery, no villain, no hero, no message and offers no answers but it stirred me somewhere. I loved it. You might too.


98 Min

Rated R

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