Finally, almost five years after it came out, I’ve watched Tiny Furniture. While I’m certainly aware of star/writer/director Lena Dunham I have to admit I’ve never watched an episode of “Girls” and am largely familiar with her work only by reputation.
In the movie Dunham plays Aura, a young woman who’s just graduated college and is in a funk, not knowing what she wants to do next and yet feeling like it needs to be something magical. She wants a paycheck but not the stress of a job and has a prickly, if still loving, relationship with the mother and sister she’s moved back in with. She’s navigating relationships and trying on various versions of adulthood but not ready to commit to anything.
That’s how the movie was sold back in 2010 and 2011 and that’s pretty much what I found when I finally watched it. Again, this is the first time I’ve really dug into the full version of any of Dunham’s work and found that yes, she has a very interesting and unique writing and performing voice. I wish the movie moved at a slightly better pace, but I understand what she was trying to do.
It’s interesting to watch it for the first time now, only after Dunham has become such a pop-culture figure who dominates TV, podcasts, email newsletters and more. Putting five years of additional baggage to the side, though, I found Tiny Furniture to be a more or less pleasant, though not consistently entertaining, movie that was well told by someone who at the time was still a largely emerging talent.