Tiny Furniture DVD Review

It became apparent early on in Tiny Furniture that the quick, conversation and disjointed trains of thought were either going to be humourously quirky or incessantly annoying. Unfortunately for writer/director/lead Lena Dunham after a few more moments of deliberation it was the second option that took hold. What should be an interesting insight into the problems facing graduates that is extremely prevalent in the current economic climate becomes a dive into the life of some rather unlikable people, too cool for school, inward focused, how you are supposed to connect with them is a mystery, unless you are one of them…

Aura (Lena Dunham) has graduated and is moving back in with her mother Siri (Laurie Simmons) and her sister Nadine (Grace Dunham). Aura has trouble fitting back into her family life and into the world of work, preferring to mope in her bed and attend parties with old friends like bohemian free spirit Charlotte (Jemima Kirke). As the back and forth between the sisters becomes more frequent and insufferable there is a ray of light from Charlotte, a faintly alcoholic English girl who is a friend from Aura’s high school days, without her the film would have been a complete disaster. As Aura starts to be manipulated by older men Jed (Alex Karpovsky) and Jacob (Isen Ritchie) her life becomes even more uninteresting. Not only is she unwilling to keep a job which a lot of people might cry out for in this era of high unemployment, she does nothing for the feminist movement by proving weak to any of the men’s demands.

Denham proves to be a reasonably talented director of the camera however as the film has the clean and motionless quality one might expect from an existential analysis of a modern day graduate but unfortunately the action she captures is mundane, dull. Her film is filled with egotistical, geek chic, apple lovers who evoke no emotion, so when it gets hard for Aura or any of her friends it really is hard to care.

An interesting point to mention is that Dunham herself is a rather unshapely girl who refuses make-up for the most part, something refreshing; she is not shy of showing of her figure despite the filmic norm of size zero beautiful people. Her character does feel more real for this but does not make her character any more likeable. The final nail in the coffin of this miserable attempt is that very little of the comedy is remotely funny, there is even a jarringly racist joke concerning the kitchen staff in the restaurant that Aura briefly works, so callous are the characters they don’t recognise it or they just don’t care, not that it matters since the audience will have long since ceased to care about them.


Tiny Furniture is released on DVD on the 28th May courtesy of Independent  

About The Author

Jonathan went back to university to study Film Journalism in Glasgow in 2012 and hasn't looked back since. Writing for the Edinburgh Internation Film Festival, The Birmingham Review, The Electrolyte Magazine as well as Front Row Reviews he enjoys working across media and if not lambasting folk about politics it's film on his agenda. Working in The Electric Cinema in Birmingham has allowed him to come closer to the medium he loves, his favourite filmmaker is Wong Kar-Wai.

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