• Unrated, 1 hr. 38 min.
  • Comedy
  • Directed By:    Lena Dunham
  • In Theaters:    Nov 12, 2010 Limited
  • On DVD:    Feb 14, 2012
  • IFC

Tiny Furniture Reviews

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John Eric D. John Eric D. ½ September 29, 2014
A little indie film offered by Lena Dunham. All I see is a struggle of a young woman who proves that she's good at what she have right now and to prove that she can be as successful as her mother and her sister. I thought the first half was alright, meeting old friends and making stuff. Until she comes with a job and meeting new people that maybe solves her depression but then it worsen her struggles more. I thought the screenplay was good and the execution was alright though the story could have been widened a bit. We know it's indie so it's what we get. She could be a good director doing a drama comedy in big time in the next future. I can see that.
hipsterfilmreviews hipsterfilmreviews September 13, 2012
Good cinematography, but pretty diectionless. And no, not in the way that it's a metaphor for how Aura's life is. Lacking in whole ideas.
Julie P September 20, 2014
smart writing. loved it.
Brandon W ½ August 17, 2014
Tiny Furniture is a great indie film by Lena Dunham who made a show called Girls and it's still going. The film is about what Aura is going to do with her life, and that's it. It's not exciting, some viewers might not even like it because it's boring, but Lena Dunham is really good and she made it work out. Even the writing is good and it makes the movie interesting, funny, and realistic to me. I'm probably not going to watch it again in the future, but I'm glad that I watch it and had a great time with it.
sleepykiss sleepykiss ½ July 25, 2014
"How are things?" " Um. I'm really tired. I took three Klonopin and woke up next to a spoon full of peanut butter."

I didnt hate it, but I found myself wondering who financed this film. A quiet female comedy with quirky characters & not much of a plot, yet Lena Dunham was unusually charismatic on screen. Her deadpan delivery was very sincere & intriguing. AND Im glad she kept her clothes on during the entire movie lol.

Enjoyed Jemima Kirkes character as well (she reminded me a bit of Kelly Osbourne.) Also starred Lenas real life mom & sister.
Matthew P July 17, 2014
"Tiny Furniture" is a paper-thin but sharp comedy that introduced us to the singular voice of Lena Dunham.
Charles D. Borg Charles D. Borg July 14, 2014
Excellent first feature; honest and funny. That said, the story meanders. But Dunham knows what she's doing and chooses to relishes the small moments. Think 'Ghost World' meets 'Good Dick'. You can't help but think Dunham will become, in the world of indi-cinema, an inevitable influence.
Wildaly M
Super Reviewer
½ May 17, 2014
I liked this film because of how real and relatable it is. It may seem self indulgent but the point is to show how a recent college graduate deals with her issues and tries to figure out her identity as an independent woman in the real world. So, of course, the film features this character's (Aura's) flaws and virtues in ways we may not always like... just like every other human being on this earth. We are sometimes ugly, awkward, pathetic, depressed, and whiny. We get involved with people who aren't worth our time and appreciate others who we sometimes ignored out of sheer ignorance. I like how this film captures those concepts and tries to make us see that Aura is a work-in-progress. She still has a lot of maturing to do, but those stupid decisions she's making now (and which her mother made as well), will (hopefully) make her a better woman in the future.
Kallie S May 8, 2014
Unless you really understood the styles of Lena Dunham, this movie would make absolutely no sense to you whatsoever. A fun quirky movie about the transitions in life, and the differences in personalities. Aura can come off as clueless and very needy, but also very intelligent and independent, but she cannot find a balance. She is constantly seeking the approval of others, and can come off as very whiney. A very typical piece of Dunham's work in trying to tell the real world story without over fictionalizing everything.
William W June 9, 2014
Awful. The worst film I have seen from The Criterion Collection. Completely misguided. Not an original idea in the writer's head. A complete waste of 99 minutes.
Kelly B ½ May 29, 2014
Not as good as Girls but still enjoyable
Guy H April 23, 2014
Lena Dunham's directorial debut is a poignant coming-of-age story lensed through frank storytelling and a wry sense of humour.
Richard L April 14, 2014
Sharp and honest, Tiny Furniture falls prey to its restraints only to those who seek to find faults.
Sachin G March 30, 2014
It's a bit wander-y but that's probably just a by-product of it being an all too honest approach to the depressing life of a confused post-grad, something Dunham does a pitch perfect recreation of.
Brett C. Brett C. ½ March 29, 2014
Tiny Furniture has a very promising idea, as I was reading it's rough synopsis, I gained a bit of interest in it and I was expecting to come out of this being really satisfied. Sadly, Tiny Furniture has a couple of problems preventing this from being as great as it tries to be. I really wanted to like this, as I have seen some talent from Dunham through her TV series, Girls.

The film was written by Lena Dunham, and this was her second screenplay. Dunham has explored a concept that is definitely been touched on films similar in this nature but her take on it feels underwhelming and definitely tries to be too ambitious. The story and it's characters never seem to explain themselves emotionally, relying heavily on the audience's own personal experiences/emotion to empathise this with. I have seen a few films that lack a real plot and they still come out impactful and memorable in the end of it, and it is mostly due to it's ability to deliver emotion. This film explores the idea of self-direction and relationships. Dunham wants to show us the lazy, confusing life of someone who doesn't understand or haven't had a clear view of what they aspire to be. Even if someone has chosen a degree for college and graduated, doesn't mean one would know where they would be heading to in the future. The relationships being explored are mostly between her and her family. It's mostly seen as a contrast between moving forward and being at a halt in one's life. These are ideas or themes that interest me but I want it done in a way that showcases one's views about it, and add a sense of bias to it. This feels too open, and since I am a person who knows or is aware where I would be going, I cannot seem to empathise with the emotions and frustrations that she has. It relies too much on immediate empathy, rather than developed/earned empathy. By the end of the film, I was left disappointed, not giving us a hint on what would become of Aura, making the whole experience feeling a bit pointless. The film also explores contemporary art and it's place in this day and age. The film shows individuals who loves art, showing that sometimes people become successful through it and some are finding it difficult to make a living out of it. There were some good aspects with the film's writing, and one includes the characters, Charlotte and Jed. They are present more for comic relief rather than an apparatus for our protagonist's development. They were given dialogue that made me smile, even let out a little chuckle, but sadly never to a point where I actually laugh.

Tiny Furniture would be Lena Dunham's second directorial feature film. I cannot compare this film to her first film, Creative Nonfiction, but what she has made here was a bit of a disappointment. One can clearly see that this film is trying to be art house or at least be unorthodox from the films within it's genre. But what is the point of something being this ambitious or artistic when the deep emotions aren't there. This makes it harder for me to care for the protagonist and the journey that she goes through. Dunham wanted this film to be like a moving portrait, and be intensely focused on her central character, which would be great if she was able to carry it (acting-wise). Sadly I felt there was too much emphasis on this character for my liking; the best parts in the film included the supporting cast on display. Though the film only runs for about 98 minutes, it still felt very long. This was due to the lack of excitement or care from me as the film goes on. If the film's writing was a little better then I think this film would have moved much quicker. Though i'm disappointed with the film, luckily I have seen her work on Girls, which was an improvement in regards to both her directing and writing.

The film's cinematographer was Jody Lee Lipes, who's other notable film include Martha Marcy May Marlene. I wasn't so impressed with the photography decisions that both Dunham and Lipes have made. The film goes back and forth between a hand-held style approach and still shots that has the actors play out the scene during a single take. I found it a bit too jarring and at times amateurish to see it cut back and forth between the two styles. It would have been more appealing if there was a bit more cohesion between the styles of shooting. During the still scenes, it showcases the actors' abilities but the issue is that they don't seem to use the environment very well, with them staying on a single spot in the frame. The photography at times do successfully convey that comedic tone, which is important for a film like this. It was pretty disappointing that the film's photography doesn't convey anything deeper for the film's characters. Throughout the film, it felt like the audience was kept at a distance.

The film's music was handled by Teddy Blanks, who doesn't have a lot of films in his resume as a composer. Blanks' music for Tiny Furniture wasn't as dull as the cinematography but it's still not something worthy of high praise. The music does follow suit to the films within it's genre and most of it are optimistic. I don't recall if the film used any outside tracks but if it did, it wasn't very memorable. The music was definitely contemporary and hip, and never did it come off as trying too hard. I thought it was a great that the film's score wasn't sentimental, particularly at the "dramatic" moments of this film.

The weight of the film's acting is mostly placed on Lena Dunham's shoulders. She was not horrible by any sense, but she was just too in love with her own writing. She played the character the way she believed it should have been played, which would have been fine if she was only present in small doses. Though she was more delightful to watch when she was accompanied or challenged by her supporting cast, mostly through Jemima Kinke, Alex Karpovsky, and Grace Dunham. These three actors were fun to watch as they seem to play their characters more naturally, which makes the humorous things that they do or say feel genuine. Laurie Simmons as Siri was only average for me. She can't seem to match Dunham's acting during their scenes together. Though I did like her during the scene at the end with Dunham.

Tiny Furniture would mostly appeal to those who can relate to the problems that the protagonist has. I sadly can only barely relate, and the film failed to make an impression on me emotionally. Luckily though, it's supporting cast, ambition, and score were good enough for me to maybe give this a try once more, someday if I stumble onto this film again.
Joseph B March 15, 2014
Dunham shows some potential, but ultimately wasn't very interesting or entertaining. It treads dangerously close to 'millennial angst' but manages to keep some integrity, although it just really doesn't have much to say, or have much of a point.
Sean C ½ February 12, 2014
Tiny Furniture is the independent film, written, directed, and starring HBO's Girls' Lena Dunham, that launched Dunham's fascinating, exciting, and revelatory emergence into the limelight of central cultural figures in the American contemporary social consciousness. Following the success and example of her contemporaries, such as Tina Fey, Greta Gerwig, and Ry Russo-Young (with whom she co-wrote Nobody Walks in 2012), Dunham has established herself firmly within the tradition of women writers whose work is primarily focused on the concept of female identity in an aggressively masculine culture. Where Fey pushed the cultural boundaries by integrating intelligence and a certain self-awareness into many of her improvised roles and characters, Dunham held back on broad comedy in favor of a more somber appreciation of the intelligence afforded by Fey. Where Gerwig introduced a certain self-assured fragility to the role of the leading lady in American film, Dunham pushed even further, exposing portraitures of female characters who were independent and dependent simultaneously, prone to both brilliant feats of self-expression and capability as well as bouts of crippling anxiety, doubt, and fear. Where Russo-Young provided an example of a woman fully capable of making her own creative decisions and narrative choices, Dunham took up the same position of authority, producing her own work as an intense gaze into her very soul, unadulterated, articulate, and unapologetically truthful to her own experience and identity as an individual against the grain of the most corrosive societal norms and expectations of what a woman should look and act like.

In the film, Lena Dunham plays yet another twenty something, fresh out of college, and living in New York, though where Hannah Horvath is empowered by the liberties of living in her own apartment in the Big Apple, Tiny Furniture's Aura is shackled to a city that is her hometown. Where Hannah only has to see her parents sporadically on weekends of mercifully brief length, Aura returns to live with her mother and younger sister, trapped into a place of temperamental regression that proves to be quiet hard to shake off. Aura, like Hannah, is a brilliant fictive stand in for Dunham, embodying the neuroses and self-centeredness of a much younger and more na´ve self. What makes Girls' Hannah such a compelling character comes in her innately sympathetic engagement with the show's audience, encouraging and scolding them for the very same behaviors and preoccupations that the character embodies. Likewise, Aura in Tiny Furniture is a figure head for the very same generation of dreamers, stuck in between their own ambitious, adolescent dreams and ideals, and the realities of compromise and wisdom that only come after leaving the realm of undergraduate wonder and awe far behind.

It is also in Tiny Furniture that Dunham first began to explore female sexual identity, and began a dialogue surrounding what makes a woman objectively beautiful by unabashedly filming several scenes in the nude herself, despite the fact that she does not possess the typical frame or build of your average Vogue supermodel. What's more, Dunham seems intent on looking as un-composed as possible, filming her scenes in the most casual and un-feminized wardrobe choices imaginable. Dunham isn't ashamed of her body, as can be seen in Aura's art film where she takes a bath in a public fountain, forcing the viewer who might otherwise cringe at the sight of her naked body to pause and reflect upon what gender stereotypes inform such an instinctual repulsion. In its very essence, Dunham's use of nudity is confrontational, forcing the viewer to examine and accept Dunham's femininity and sexuality before any other female character in the film, even if the viewer might prefer to examine someone else's. Dunham's use of her own body and female form is bold and unsullied by anyone else's gaze, male or female, making Tiny Furniture a monumental piece towards broadening the role of women in film as a whole.

Without a doubt, Dunham has ensconced herself within the pantheon of truly exceptional "voices of a generation," speaking for and to the young adults of an era marked by a certain dissatisfaction with and antagonism towards a culture that has rendered them redundant. When Aura struggles in the film to find economic stability in the post-undergraduate world, she stumbles and falls into patterns of sophomoric behavior and apathy, reluctantly acquiescing to her inherited status of the hyper-articulate child, allowed a seat at the table without permission to speak. In this way, Dunham's Tiny Furniture is the film of Generation Y, playing upon the group's stereotyped self-centeredness and callousness, while offering another way into understanding the humanity of a generation that shows signs of becoming one of the truly lost generations of recent history. However, much of Tiny Furniture is uneven, prone to the inconsistencies of a creative voice still trying to work on its pitch and tone. Regardless, it is also one of the best films of the last couple of years, foreshadowing what was still to come from a talent so in touch with her subject and audience as to be one and the same with them both.
Greg L January 16, 2014
I liked this movie. I thought it was a lot better than I expected it to be. It did have some flaws.
Patrick H January 9, 2014
Lena Dunham's personal psychological problems on Parade! Tiny Furniture is yet another example of people using "acting" as therapy for deeply entrenched psychosis.
Ma'ark T ½ December 16, 2013
Not very entertaining but some realistic and funny observations make this worth a watch.
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