DIR/WRI: Lena Dunham • PRO: Kyle Martin, Alicia Van Couvering • DOP: Jody Lee Lipes • ED: Lance Edmands • Cast: Lena Dunham, Laurie Simmons, Grace Dunham, Jemima Kirke
An award winner at the SXSW Film Festival over two years ago, this tiny movie ($50,000 budget) arrives on these shores at an almost perfect time, considering it’s about a recent college graduate who finds herself unemployable once graduation comes round…
Writer/director Lena Dunham plays Aura, a recently dumped film student who is forced to move in with her photographer mother (Laurie Simmons, Dunham’s real-life mother) and overachieving younger sister (Grace Dunham, real-life sister), and as she haunts their (real-life) Tribeca loft trying to decide what to do with her life, the film follows her run-ins with others who are also just as lost, but are either in complete denial (Alex Karpovsky’s pass-remarkable moocher Jed), acceptance (David Call’s seductive, elusive chef Keith) or apathy (Jemima Kirke’s faux-British, scene stealing Charlotte).
Despite the movie revolving around a lead character that has no job, no partner, no money, no place of her own to live and no idea what she’s doing with her life, the film plays it all with a remarkably light comedic touch. While never laugh-out-loud funny, it does manage to constantly find mirth in even the most depressing aspects of everyday life, and Dunham plays it all with an almost absolute lack of vanity, displaying her character at its best and worst, both inside and out.
While the film’s message is never quite clear, and its conclusion is frustratingly, if honestly, open-ended, the film itself is a message that with perseverance you will achieve your goals. Since then Dunham has got a TV show picked up in the States, and will appear in Judd Apatow’s next flick This Is 40. See, there’s hope for us all yet…
Rated 16 (see IFCO website for details)
Tiny Furniture is released on 30th March 2012