The recession is biting everyone in the ass, and arguably it is biting women the hardest. However, if you’re a young women graduating college who’s just been dumped by her boyfriend, and your only option is to move back into your mum’s swanky monochrome manhattan loft, chances are you are going to be OK. But it’s that slightly self-indulgent “poor me” post-graduation funk which makes Tiny Furniture such an appealing film. Lena Dunham’s character Aura (Dunham is director, writer and main actress in the film) is not having the best of times. Indeed, the film’s tagline is: “Aura would like you to know that she is having a very, very hard time”), but her reaction to her trials (mostly moaning and loafing around in her pants, having sex in a pipe, and letting a youTube celebrity move into her mum’s house) is what makes the film so comically endearing.
The characters are Lena’s own friends and family, which makes the interactions between them seem all the more convincing. “Did you have the same sense of entitlement as my daughter?” Aura’s mum asks her slightly unhinged friend Charlotte mid-way through the film. “No, mine was way worse,” she says. And it is. Ex-rehabber Charlotte’s (played by Jemima Kirke) conversations with Aura make for some of the most comic moments of the film. “Our moms are artists, of course they’re assholes,” she announces. “Are you calling my mom an asshole?” ”Yes, I am.” When Aura is wondering how to seduce a guy at work, Charlotte advises her simply to “grab his cock.” “I just broke up with a male feminist after three years!” Aura retorts, “I’m not a cock-grabber.” Dunham’s real-life sister also gives a wonderfully irritating performance as Nadine, an arrogant 17 year old who just wants her space back.
If you’re in your twenties, directionless, and feeling a bit sorry for yourself, Tiny Furniture will give you a chuckle of recognition. If you’re my boyfriend and you like films which centre around a man with a dead wife, a gun, and nothing to lose, then you will hate it, as he did. But what does he know? He doesn’t have a vagina, and he isn’t unemployed.