17 May 2011 | CinemaFrostedBetty
A glorified home movie
We live in a DIY culture, where filmmakers graduate from fancy-shmancy schools and think they can just make a film about themselves and call it art. Exhibit A (or Exhibit Gazillion): Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture (2010). A glorified home movie. Tiny Furniture tells the story of recent college grad, Aura (Lena Dunham, who also wrote and directed the film), who must deal with the transition from alternative, lazy student to an actual full-grown woman. Post- grad confusion constantly pedals itself across independent cinema, and frankly, I'm sick of it. The narrative is rather dull, but this isn't anything out of the ordinary for mumblecore. However, I do admire Lena Dunham and her character as Aura (where she is essentially playing herself). She may not be anything special, but she's real. She's accurate—naïve, narcissistic, and completely disoriented. Ultimately, I think that's why this film (amongst other post-grad films) is so successful. It's built for a certain demographic—post-grad losers. They (We) find these movies comforting because the lost characters are just like them (us). I'm not going to say I didn't enjoy this movie, but I probably wouldn't have hadn't I found it extremely relatable to my current lifestyle. Hopefully, this film will work as a serious reality-check for those of us graduating soon. I don't want to be Aura. That's for sure. Aside from its tired plot, Lena Dunham actually has a great visual eye and hopefully this will reflect in her future work, when she isn't delving into self-exploitation any longer.