Tiny Furniture: movie review

( Unrated ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

Writer-director-star Lena Dunham's first feature is a comedic take on the world, and a sharp visual composition.

Joe Anderson/IFC/AP
Lena Dunham and David Call appear in a scene from 'Tiny Furniture.'

Lena Dunham, the writer-director-star of the microbudget “Tiny Furniture,” has a distinctive comedic take on the world – a kind of haggard spiritedness. She plays Aura, a film studies major who recently graduated from a Midwestern college and is now – what else? – trying to figure out what to do with her life while living with her artist mother (Laurie Simmons, Dunham’s real-life mom) and overachiever high school senior sister (Grave Dunham, Dunham’s sister) in her family’s Tribeca loft (her parents’ actual apartment).

I realize this sounds like a glorified home movie, but Dunham has a sharp eye for visual composition and a sharp ear, too. The scenes between Aura and a loudmouth high school friend (Merritt Wever) have real brio, and a sexual encounter between Aura and a diffident restaurant co-worker (David Call) is very funny and very sad. This is Dunham’s first feature. I’m primed for the next one. Grade: A- (Unrated.)

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