Written and directed by Lena Dunham, who also acted the part of the lead character, Aura, "Tiny Furniture" is a worthy accomplishment for a variety of reasons. Most importantly - with a budget of $50K - it demonstrates the production quality that can be achieved with minimal funds and a skeleton crew. The film tells the story of a young woman, just graduated from from film studies at Oberlin and upset over a recent romantic break-up, who returns to her artist mother's Tribeca apartment in New York where a younger sister also resides. Even if the storyline is seriously thin, the result is a witty look at the supposedly crucial dilemmas of an immature, privileged, self-absorbed female college graduate who finds herself on the threshold of adulthood. Coincidentally (or probably not) this narrative framework mirrored Ms Dunham's real-life circumstances at the time when she made the film - and she utilized her own mother, sister and friends to play their respective parts in this fictionalized version of her homecoming.
The film leads us through a sequence of Aura's everyday issues that she consistently turns into minor melodramas. These include communication issues with her mother, free-loading boyfriends, infantile sibling rivalry confrontations, employment problems and humiliating sexual misadventures - all of which are portrayed with a mixture of ironic humor and pathos. "Tiny Furniture" is beautifully photographed on a Canon Digital SLR, and the entire cast give appropriately cosmopolitan performances, with Jemima Kirke stealing the show as Aura's hilariously out-to-lunch BFF Charlotte.
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