"I'm in a post-graduation malaise," Aura to her mother
Aura (Lena Dunham) and her mother (Laurie Simmons, Denham's real mom) are a generation apart, and it shows. In Tiny Furniture (a reference to her mother's collection) Aura has drifting back to mom by returning after graduation to their upscale Tribeca apartment, which her mother easily covers as a successful artist. Aura has no prospects to be so successful, struggling as she is just trying to sustain through a nowhere position as a restaurant hostess, not the filmmaker she'd like to be.
While the apartment is minimalist white, sharp, and clean, Aura is heavy, homely, and slow. The honesty of not casting a hottie as most directors would is one of the film's noble features, and that this director casts herself in unflattering circumstances (Aura has her first complete sex, boring I would say, in a street construction pipe and wears ill-fitting clothes) is a sign of the realism rare in most contemporary comedies about 20 somethings. In fact, director Dunham has achieved a universality anyway because the players in this comedy aren't a whole lot different from the young sit-com residents of the last 30 years, except they all had jobs or prospects, and alas, Aura has none.
I didn't enjoy the film as I had hoped because except for the pipe and some smart Juno-like dialogue at the beginning with her sister and her mom, nothing much at all happens. If you compare Tiny Furniture with Manhattan-based Seinfeld, where it's about nothing but really something, then this is a tiny comedy where shifting around the furniture still results in a boring set up.
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