Tiny Furniture

Tiny Furniture

2.7 4

Cast: Laurie Simmons, Grace Dunham, Rachel Howe


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A recent college graduate keeps stumbling as she steps out into the real world in this independent comedy drama. Aura (Lena Dunham) has just graduated from a university in the Midwest, receiving a degree in film theory that even she seems to realize is essentially worthless. With no real prospects she returns home to her mother, Siri


A recent college graduate keeps stumbling as she steps out into the real world in this independent comedy drama. Aura (Lena Dunham) has just graduated from a university in the Midwest, receiving a degree in film theory that even she seems to realize is essentially worthless. With no real prospects she returns home to her mother, Siri (Laurie Simmons), a successful photographer living in New York City. Aura's 17-year-old sister, Nadine (Grace Dunham), is about to graduate from high school and is choosing which college to attend in the fall; Aura is ostensibly back home to help Siri and Nadine during a hectic time, but they don't appear to particularly need or want her assistance. Aura befriends Jed (Alex Karpovsky), a minor celebrity thanks to his surreal YouTube videos, who insists he's in New York to take meetings for an upcoming TV project; he soon invites himself into Aura's bedroom as a semi-permanent guest, though he clearly has no interest in any sort of romantic or sexual relationship. With little else to do, Aura takes a job at a nearby restaurant and becomes smitten with Keith (David Call), one of the cooks; while he seems attracted to her, he also has a girlfriend and it isn't until they're both stoned one night that he makes his move in a rather unusual setting. Tiny Furniture was written and directed by Lena Dunham, who also plays Aura; Laurie Simmons and Grace Dunham are her mother and sister in real life as well as in the film, which was mostly shot in Simmons' actual apartment. The film was named Best Narrative Feature at the 2010 South by Southwest Film Festival.

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Lena Dunham took the independent film world by the lapels with Tiny Furniture, a solipsistic look at modern-day New Yorkers, and one particular New Yorker's angst-ridden transition into adulthood. In addition to writing and directing, Dunham also plays the lead, and her actual mother and sister play her mother and sister in the film. So this solipsism has a logical basis: it's a movie about a gloomy, self-absorbed character who's basically the filmmaker herself -- not symbolically, but actually. And with that much meta, there can't help but be plenty of navel-gazing. It's clear that excessive introspection and wallowing are what Dunham intends to dramatize -- what she sees as the shortcomings of her characters -- but then it's up to viewers to decide whether they feel enlightened or frustrated by her confrontational approach. Dunham makes little effort to cast any of the characters in a sympathetic light -- you want to shake them, actually -- and gives them the eccentric speech patterns of jaded intellectuals, so that the dialogue has a kind of stylized naturalism that consistently calls attention to itself. Dunham means to examine the purgatory into which young adults are thrust upon exiting the comfortable confines of the university setting, facing the world with degrees in such things as philosophy and film theory, which don't point them logically toward a career. It's not the most original perspective on post-collegiate uncertainty, but there's value in it. What's unclear is why Aura's fumblings are more worthy of our attentions, especially when she's always undermining our desire to root for her with behavior that is alternately too rash or too passive, and never demonstrates much generosity of spirit. The oddball rhythms and vanity-eschewing frankness of Dunham's debut make it a film worth noticing, and ultimately seeing, but it's easier to respect than to like.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
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Special Features

Director Lena Dunham talks about filmmaking and autobiography in a new interview with writer and filmmaker Nora Ephron; New interview with writer-director Paul Schrader; Trailer; Creative Nonfiction, Dunham's first feature film, with an introduction by the director; Four short films by Dunham; Plus: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Phillip Lopate

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lena Dunham Aura
Laurie Simmons Siri
Grace Dunham Nadine
Rachel Howe Candice
Merritt Wever Frankie
Amy Seimetz Ashlynn
Alex Karpovsky Jed
Jemima Kirke Charlotte
David Call Keith
Sarah Sophie Flicker Julia
Garland Hunter Noelle
Isen Hunter Jack

Technical Credits
Lena Dunham Director,Screenwriter
Teddy Blanks Score Composer
Micah Bloomberg Sound/Sound Designer
Lance Edmands Editor
Jade Healy Art Director
Jody Lee Lipes Cinematographer
Kyle Martin Producer
Gene Park Sound/Sound Designer
Alicia van Couvering Producer
Alice Wang Co-producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Tiny Furniture, Disc One
1. "I'm in a postgraduate delirium" [3:41]
2. Mom's diary [5:02]
3. Party [4:27]
4. Charlotte [4:35]
5. Bright futures [7:14]
6. "Nietzsche Cowboy" [5:36]
7. A place to stay [5:33]
8. First day [5:39]
9. Undefined relationships [4:38]
10. "Where are you?" [3:04]
11. Necessary explanations [8:11]
12. A date with Keith [4:44]
13. "A cowboy at dusk" [4:39]
14. Nadine's party [4:25]
15. Still a child [3:53]
16. "Any exposure is good exposure" [5:16]
17. "Worse than sex on the street" [6:02]
18. Figuring it out [12:37]
19. Color bars [:00]
Disc #2 -- Tiny Furniture, Disc Two
1. The mold problem [2:34]
2. Awkward bed talk [4:23]
3. Poetry class [6:12]
4. People who don't exist [4:00]
5. Punk rock runaway [6:55]
6. Existential crisis [5:33]
7. Ty [2:19]
8. Carly [4:38]
9. Betrayal [2:56]
10. From one guy to the next [2:41]
11. Awkward sex [6:04]
12. Nothing serious [5:36]
13. On the road again [4:24]


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Tiny Furniture 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too many people have criticized this film for being a self-serious post-grad drama, when in fact it's a comedy about self-serious post-grad people. The film is wildly funny if you give it the time it deserves.
Jalama More than 1 year ago
The framing and set up of each of the scenes is immaculate. It would be easy to dismiss this film based only on the story line, but really it is a subtlely crafted coming of age story done well on a limited budget. This work shows skill beyond contemporaries her age.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bad bad bad... a complete waste of time. shame on criterion for picking this rotten egg out and releasing it on blu. elementary school comedy @ best...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Isn't this essentially the plot to her TV series on HBO?